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cottage food community


Oklahoma passed a cottage food law in 2013 (HB 1094 – The Home Bakery Act of 2013), which is a fairly restrictive law. Producers can only sell certain types of baked goods, and sales are limited to $20,000 per year, but no license from the health department is required.

Unfortunately, producers may only sell at their home. This ruling has caused a lot of controversy because there is not language in the law to back it up, but the health department has taken a firm stand that that is their interpretation of the law.

In addition, the “Oklahoma Honey Sales Act” (SB 716) went into effect in 2013, which allows small-scale honey producers to sell without much regulation.

An amendment bill (SB 696) did not pass in 2015, which would have allowed more types of cottage food businesses and sales venues. However, it was not popular with some people using the current law, as it would have forced them to get trained and submit product labels before continuing their business. A less restrictive version of this bill (SB 1915) also did not pass in 2014. For updates, check out this facebook page.


Allowed Foods

Baked goods with meat are not allowed, and products cannot have fresh fruit added after baking.

Only "non-potentially hazardous" foods are allowed, but certain non-PHFs may not be allowed. Most foods that don't need to be refrigerated (foods without meat, cheese, etc.) are considered non-potentially hazardous. Learn more


Sales are limited to $20,000 per year


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Made in a home food establishment that is not licensed by the State Department of Health"

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, OK 73531


Law Dates
November 2013
HB 1094
This page was last updated on


SB-696 did not pass. HB-1094 will remain as he baking bill. You can sell a fruit pie but the items would need to be cooked not raw. No fresh fruits means nothing raw like chocolate covered strawberries. I agree that type of stuff should remain with licensed bakeries as it requires refrigeration, etc…

    Thanks Elaine, I will update this page soon.

    The law’s wording of “Prepared food shall mean any baked goods except for products that contain meat products or fresh fruit” is very confusing. The words “or fresh fruit” wouldn’t be necessary if they were referring to something unbaked, like chocolate-covered strawberries. But now that you mention it and I think about it more, the treason they added those last few words are to prevent baked goods with fresh fruit added on top, after baking. Now that makes sense, and that’s exactly what it says, but it’s very poorly worded, unfortunately. I was always perplexed as to why someone couldn’t bake an apple pie using fresh apples!

I’m looking into starting a “goodies” business ftom home. I am a stay at home mom and all of this is new to me. I have several questions. I read over the Law and it seems pretty vague to me.
1. Can we ship? I hear that we can’t but I didnt see anywhere in the law that says you can’t.
2. Does “fresh fruits” just mean the fruit itself? I saw we can sell cobbblers…what about peach cobbler??
3. Can we sell at craft shows/bake sale type of venues or do I need a license for that?
4 . Can I start this right now or is there forms and such I need to do?

    1. No
    2. The fresh fruit rule is strange, but I believe that if you want to sell a peach cobbler, you need to use commercially canned or frozen peaches.
    3. I believe you can only sell at home.
    4. There may be local requirements, like a business license, but you don’t need a license from the ag or health dept.

There has been a new bill sent through to Senate and passed on the Senate floor today. It is now headed to the Representative side. It will probably halt all home bakers from doing any baking from home. It states it’s to add canning to the list but also has many, many absolutely absurd requirements that no-one canning people nor cake bakers will put up with. You’ll have to send every recipe to the health department and they have to keep it on file along with your labels you use on product so neither can alter from the original state or it has to go through the approval process all over again. Then there’s time waiting for OSU to approve every single recipe before you can even sell it and no altering from a recipe or changing it for a customer which most cakes are made different for each customer. Food handlers licenses are required and must be shown to every single person who purchases. These are just some of the crazy requests they’ve stated and businesses don’t have to go through these requests at all… Please contact your State Rep today and ask them to stop this bill now! The Senate Bill is SB696. It took us several years to pass the original HB-1094 and this new bill was supposedly brought to session and passed in less than a month on an emergency basis. It’s an emergency to “supposedly just add canning” onto the home baker bill. Please call your State Representative for Oklahoma and ask them to vote NO on the Home Manufacturing Act SB696.

    Thanks for sharing this info — I wasn’t aware of the bill. After reading it, it seems like a good step forward for Oklahoma, in my opinion. I would think that it would benefit almost everyone, except, perhaps, a custom cake maker.

    Aside from not having any law, I’m not sure how the current situation in OK could be much worse. CFOs can only sell baked goods, can only make sales at their home, and can only sell $20,000 of goods per year. That’s extremely limiting. Yes, this bill does add a number of requirements, but it also gives CFOs a lot more flexibility.

    For one, it actually states where CFOs can sell their products, which prevents the health dept from limiting sales to the home only. It only adds farmers markets and CSAs as venues — not a huge change, but a significant one, as it can get CFOs out of the home and face-to-face with new buyers. The biggest change I see is increasing the sales limit. It doesn’t just increase it, it instead specifies a limit of net income, which would allow a CFO to deduct all relevant expenses before calculating their limit of $50,000 (never seen a state do this). Finally, as purported, it allows canned goods to be made, which is extremely important for some producers.

    As for the restrictions, most of them are very similar to other states. Training can be done online in a few hours for $15. For those making canned foods, the training course for that would be much longer and more expensive, but due to the serious concern of botulism, it’s understandable to me that this is a requirement. Hopefully the canning course will only be required for risky foods (not jams and jellies).

    What stands out to me as being overly complicated, annoying, and unnecessary is the requirement to submit all labels and ingredients. As you said, this makes product flexibility very difficult for a CFO, but on the other hand, it ensures that CFO products are govt approved — not that most really need to be. Some counties in CA require their CFOs to submit labels for each product, and it’s resulted in a big mess — hundreds of near-identical labels being submitted (for CFOs that offer items with different combinations of products), and hours upon hours of review time for the health dept. It has really slowed down the process of becoming a CFO in CA, and if there were any one thing I’d change in this bill, it would be that, because it adds a lot of complexity for a nearly negligible benefit. However, requiring approved canned good recipes is fairly common and understandable to me — again, due to botulism.

    Overall, I’d say that OK would be in a better place with this bill as-is than without it, both for most current CFOs (or would-be CFOs), and also since it provides a better starting point for improving the law in the future.

    I am curious why some are hostile to these amendments. Is it primarily about the requirements for submitting labels/recipes for approval? That does seem like it adds unnecessary drag to home production but does it really threaten it? Having just started a “micro” bakery, I think the possibility of selling direct and increasing net revenue cap are great, well worth some additional oversight. I am still unclear about whether current law prohibits online sales (for instance using e-commerce plug-ins on website for orders but not payments) and whether amendment would allow for consignment sales at retail locations. All and all, this seems like progress for a state that is always fighting it.

    I’d say that the resistance is because it provides more complications to the law, especially for someone who is working well under the current law. Unfortunately, the number of people that the current law would work well for is quite small, and this amendment should allow more people to use it.

    You can’t make sales online, and I’m unsure about whether you could take orders. You also could not sell at a retail location.

Does selling from home allow Internet sales? I have a gourmet flavored sugar I’d like to sell on Etsy but can’t tell whether this is permitted. No cooking is involved, the process is merely the combining of packaged ingredients (sugar, salt, and flavoring). Where can I find info on how to label since the flavoring is made up of many ingredients (or would ‘artificial flavor’ cover it)?

If it wouldn’t be permitted from home and I rented a commercial space, besides business licenses, are there any food-specific permits/licenses I would need to do this? Thanks very much for your help.

    Things aren’t very clear-cut in OK, but from what I can tell, online sales aren’t allowed. I am sure that interstate sales (like many sales on Etsy would be) are not allowed.

    You need to list all ingredients on a label — this FAQ should answer your question:

    You need to talk to your health dept about getting a commercial food processor license, which is separate from a business license. They should be able to guide you towards the other requirements you’ll need.

I want to start baking business from home. Do I need to register my business for the purpose of legality? And if I sell under $20,000 I understand I don’t need food license right? Can I also use social media to advertise my baked goods and what are those specificly?

Was told by a pecan sales person that he couldnt sell any pecans that weigh less than 5 pounds. He is set up in kellyville ok. On saturdays usually. He also sells insurance. Is it true about the pecans having to weigh 5 lbs. Or is he just a fast talker.

Nuts? Go over vegetables again? Has anyone asked about carrot cake or macaroons. Macaroons are baked….Dried fruit? Raisins? We’re a year in now– any loosening up on Internet sales?

    Carrot cake (without cream cheese frosting) should be allowed. Macarons are often not allowed because of their egg content. Everything else isn’t allowed, as far as I know. How long a law has been in place shouldn’t loosen it… an amendment is required to change it.

Ok.. I tried to read as much of the comments and replies as my brain would absorb. My friend and I were going to do a pear preserve spread and possible go to the Farmers markets and try and ” peddle it”, but from everything I have read… this isnt even a remote possibility.. Is there anywhere that we can sell it?
also I make a peanut brittle…

I’ve heard we must register as a business and I’ve heard we don’t need to. I don’t want to start selling until I’m sure if I must register

    Some counties require a business license and some don’t. You need to call the dept in your area that manages business licenses. You shouldn’t need a license from the health dept.

Hi David, I have a question regarding the sample label (above). Does the required information need to follow this order or can it be in a different order just making sure all required information is included?

    It can be in any order, though sometimes health depts like to have the “statement” to be the most prominent thing. But definitely feel free to use your creativity… the sample label only states what’s absolutely required.

    Usually when a state allows sales from home, they also allow deliveries, but OK’s definitely more restrictive than most. I don’t think I read that anywhere and I may have been mistaken in a previous comment I made. Ultimately, it’s up to your health dept to decide what to allow.

I have read through a lot of the comments on here and am still unclear on a couple of things. I have been considering approaching a friend about selling my cupcakes in her retail/food establishment, I would like to have as much information as possible before I talk to her about it. I have e-mailed OK Farm and Food and have not received a response and am not sure who to ask or where to find the information. Under the Cottage Food Law can I sell my baked goods to my friend for her to sell in her store? If not, how do I go about getting a commercial license and what all is involved in that? Also, is it acceptable to use frozen or canned fruit?

    I am also still really unclear about a lot of what’s allowed in OK… they haven’t provided much online info and I suspect that the rules vary across the state. From what I’ve heard, you can only sell from home, not at a retail store or restaurant. You would need to use a commercial kitchen (probably your friend’s place), and you need to talk to the health dept about that whole process. If you stick to sales from home, you would be able to use frozen or canned fruit (again, not entirely sure about that).

What about selling jams and jellies at the farmers market? Does this include that? I know there are always people who sell them, and I am interested in getting started. Just want to make sure it is really okay.

    The hover-state of the Home listing under the Selling section suggests otherwise?

    “your products can be picked up from your home or hand-delivered elsewhere”

    Delivering products to someone is okay and is included in sales from home. Selling outside the home, such as at a farmers market, is not allowed. Do you have a suggestion as to how I can make that more clear in the hover text? I’ll try to tweak it.

    So, this article suggests ONLY baked goods are okay, but this comment about jams and jellies has me confused. Are they or aren’t they allowed? I have read the actual bill and all of it just seems like gray area! I think they’re trying to make it hard on everyone.

    Ashley, thanks for noticing this. You’re correct — jams and jellies are not allowed. I was more focused on the venue part of this question and didn’t even notice that the food itself is not allowed. Jams and jellies are so common… almost every state with a cottage food law allows them, but not Oklahoma.

Also, who are the people that would know about this law? I live 2 streets away from one of our state representatives. I thought I might be able to ask him some questions. It’s pretty ridiculous that if you make something for someone at your church, you would have to make them drive all the way to your house to get it, instead of just bringing it to church with you.

My mother and I are wanting to start baking a things from home. She is mainly cookies and I am mainly cakes and cupcakes. Her kitchen is a lot bigger than mine and it is easier to bake in. If we both have separate businesses, but bake in the same home, do we both have to “split” the $20,000 income limit? Or could we both make up to $20,000 seperatly?

    No, but you might consider it anyway. It’s only $15 or so, and it ensures you’re following best practices in the kitchen.

After reading these most helpful and excellent comments, I have determined that the food I want to sell would NOT qualify as a baked item. Therefore, I will have to prepare it in a commercial kitchen. My husband was told by a member at our church that our kitchen there is classified by the county as a commercial kitchen and that was why it had to have an additional handwash sink. I’m just wondering if I might be able to use THAT kitchen to prepare my product. Can you recommend any resources I might consult for further information? Thanks so much!

    Yes, you can use that kitchen. I don’t know of any online sources other than your county’s health dept website… you should call them.

Ok, so I’m trying to understand the Oklahoma Cottage Food Law, vs. the Texas Cottage Food Law since I have recently located from one state to the other.. In Texas those operating under the Cottage Food Law DO NOT answer to the Health Dept. for they are under State Ag. jurisdiction. The Health Department is for commercial kitchens. Is that not the case in Oklahoma?

Okay, say you have a business from home. However when you do an event you make your product at a certified kitchen. Problem solved?

Also if selling online to states other than Oklahoma you can do your POS online?

    No, you cannot run a cottage food operation using a commercial kitchen. I also don’t think you can own both kinds of businesses at the same time. Interstate sales are not allowed for CFOs. To do sales at events and online, you’d need to ignore this cottage food law and get a commercial license, which would mean you couldn’t sell from home.

    It doesn’t. But it also doesn’t explicitly state that producers can sell outside of their home. If you read the comments on here you’ll see that there’s a lot of confusion about this. Basically, the health dept decided that they would interpret the bill as only allowing sales from home, and since they oversee the implementation of this law, their interpretation is the one that matters. It’s pretty clear that an amendment needs to get passed that specifies what venues are allowed.

    I’m no lawyer but it seems to me the law does allow other selling venues. One example is the language: “in which prepared food is created for sale or resale, for consumption off the premises,” While “consumption off the premises” only implies sales at other venues, allowing “resale” would be a clear indicator that sales of the product can take place outside the home, since you would not sell and then resell the product all in your own home. However the clearest text in the law regarding venues would be “Gross annual sales includes all sales of
    prepared food produced by the business at any location;” This sentence indicates that the food is prepared at a residence but can be sold by that business “at any location.” That seems pretty clear to me. Again, I am no lawyer, but the Health Department is misinterpreting this law to restrict selling to the home where the food is prepared. That contradicts sales “at any location” and eliminates any “resale” model. While the law does not explicitly enumerate the venues where these products can be sold, it does state that resale and sales at any location are included in the law. The Department of Health is rejecting the clear intent of the law. It is very unfortunate since there is a complete absence of any language that would suggest there was ever any intent to restrict selling venues.

    Even the requirement to list address on the label seems silly by the Health Department’s interpretation. If all transactions must take place in person at the home, why must the address be printed on a label. The buyer would know exactly where the food came from because he or she had to travel there to make the purchase.
    It makes much more sense that the address part of the labeling requirement is needed because the sale is taking place somewhere else.

    Joseph, I understand your points, but health depts have a tendency to take the most restrictive interpretation of the law. If it is not spelled out that you can sell at a farmers market, then they probably won’t allow it. The law is open enough to also allow an interpretation where you could sell anywhere, but the health dept has not chosen that one. I agree that it is unfortunate.

    In terms of placing the address on the label, that is not for the buyer’s benefit. It is so there is a written record of where an item is produced, in case a complaint is filed to the health dept. Even if the buyer can remember where they bought it, I think you can understand why the health dept would need this record for legal reasons.

Bless your heart David! As I read these comments it reminds me of the trials we have had at the Farmers Markets. One inspector tells you one thing at one market and another inspector tells you something else at another. I have had both a bakery and a commericial kitchen here in Oklahoma. One thing I can tell you all is that there is a huge power play with all of the DHS offices in this state. Even when you think you get a straight answer, you don’t. The inspectors are not happy with this law and they want it blocked as they can not come into someones home and do an inspection. I was told this directly from one of my inspectors. There has also been a huge turnover in the DHS in this state, so everytime there is a new inspector, there is a new interpretation of the laws. It is very frustating. I have watched farmers be forced to lose their spots at the market because they have changed the law on what can be sold with a certain license, many times causing the farmer to purchase different kinds of licenses which is a huge expense considering our markets are seasonal. This would not be a big deal except the fees aren’t cheap. By the time you jump through their hoops you can’t afford to be in business. It is or was $400.00 just to have a plane review done. Don’t even ask me what that is, I have no idea. Then it is another $350 to get your commercial license if you want to sell at a market or anywhere else out side of your baking location. Plus, you have to label in decending order all ingredients(butter for instance is not just butter. It is cream & salt.) You can’t say chocolate chips, you have to list every ingredient in the chocolate chip. Then you have to weigh it with two different weights, use the right packaging, AND you have to keep an ingredient log with all the information from each ingredient, plus the amounts you bake and number them. THis takes hours if you bake alot of items. It is a HUGE headache!!! AS was all the crazy rules at the market. I understand you have to have rules for health reasons, but some go overboard. It’s sad too. There is alot of great food that could be put out. The hardest thing is the costs of the licensing. THey make it so expensive that once you have yours you don’t want to let it go, but if you don’t, you have to sell alot of product just to break even. If you are considering the cottage law, you are lucky it is available even though it is limited. It will give you a chance to see if baking is really what you want to do. Twelve hour days on your feet is not fun! If you love it, then you might consider taking the brutal plunge into a commerical kitchen. If you don’t, you have lost nothing. Good luck ladies!! There are lots of people here that love home baked goods, don’t lose heart.

I’ve been reading all the updates. Wish some things were more clear cut. I like to do breads with cheese mixed in. Think “they” will mind that? Also what about vegetables like onions if baked on top or kneaded in?

When talking with a rep from Tulsa’s Health Department, we were told if we sold bread out of the home, we could accept payment via PayPal. Have you heard this?

Also, I can not find any place in the House bill or in the proposed SB 920 that gives the Health Department enforcement authority in this area and the authority to fine a person not in compliance. Where can I find this information and the amount of any related fine?

    That sounds right… the most important thing is that the transaction happens face-to-face, at your home. How the money gets processed is less of a concern. However, some other health depts may have a different opinion.

    I didn’t search through the food code, but basically there would be something in there that would give the health department the right to enforce the food laws if anyone is not following the rules. In the cottage food law itself, there is a limit to what the fine can be. Put them together and the health department should legally have the right to fine someone not in compliance up to $100, if they choose to.

    Sorry Dianne, this issue has gotten so confusing that I really don’t know. I have no idea what the term “fresh fruit” in the law is supposed to mean. My take on it is that they don’t want you preparing and handling the fruit yourself, so I would say that if you’re buying frozen or canned fruit from a store, then that would be okay. However, I really can’t give you a definite answer, since it’s up to the health department to determine what to allow.

What is the law (or is there one) regarding pet treats baked and sold out a home? I bake pet treats all the time for family and friends, and my own dogs, but I can’t find anything regarding this on this law or any other. Or is this type of baked good not regulated?

This question may have been already answered but I did not see it.
I can advertise on the internet through a website, FaceBook, etc, but I can not take orders online or over the phone? What if I get a temporary order through those means, but then have the customer come to my home to finalize the order and confirm it. Would that make it right?
Thank you

    The law isn’t exactly clear on that, but I’d say that as long as the transaction is happening at your home, you’ll be fine. You just wouldn’t be able to setup a shopping cart area on your website, for instance.

    I was told buy my health dept. representative that I could advertise as long as sales went through my home

I am wondering if beignets would be allowed? It’s fried bread but I have found some recipes where it can be baked instead (not sure if it would compromise the taste). Any thoughts on this? Thanks :)

Can A person baking for a hobby use a website for people to place orders for baked goods or how are they to know what you do , do they have to come to the home to order something they want to buy can you use a phone# or email , text a product to you

    You can advertise your products online, but you can’t take an order online or over the phone. The sale needs to happen in-person at your home.

Out of curiosity, do I need to be insured? It doesn’t say I do anywhere, but I’m not sure. In theory, could I just set up and start selling things right away? It seems like all I really need to do to be legal is keep track of income and expenses and talk to an accountant to make sure I’m filing taxes correctly. Also, is the 20,000 limit referring to profit, or revenue? By the way, this page has been the most helpful thing. It’s such a great place to double check my information — super helpful!

    You cannot sell cut fruits that you prepare in your home kitchen. To do this, you would have to prepare your items in a commercial kitchen and contact the health dept.

It says “sale or resale” so does that mean if my friend bakes cupcakes in her kitchen I can buy them from her to sell at my coffee shop? What would resale mean in this case? I’m confused.

    No, you may not resell your items and I agree that it doesn’t make any sense. That line is, to me, a clear indication that the bill’s authors intended for sales in Oklahoma to be relatively unrestricted, but the health dept doesn’t agree. Until an amendment is passed, the bill will remain confusing.

    However, you are always welcome to operate differently if you think you have legal ground to do so. If the health dept penalized you and you disputed it, would your interpretation of the law hold up in court? You should be pretty confident the answer would be yes.

    You can buy them and resale them from your home. A coffee shop is a licensed commercial kitchen that must meet the Oklahoma State Department of Health regulations – and that states that only food produced in a licensed and inspected facility may be offered to the public. Only home bakers can sell uninspected food produced from an unlicensed facility.

    If there are, I haven’t heard of them. There hasn’t really been any extra info produced by the government about the law so some things are still a little unclear.

I am writing a policy paper on this topic. I am wondering where I can find more information about this policy and why it was created?

    I wish I could say there is a lot more info available online, but I think you’re going to have to call up government offices to find the info you’re looking for. Unfortunately, since the health department doesn’t need to register these businesses, they haven’t really put any info online. The resources section of this page is literally the collection of the best online resources I could find… I know it’s not much.

Ok so too make I’m on the same page…all I need legally to start selling my cakes from home is to not use fresh fruits or meats and a sell tax permit….
Thank you for all the help you are giving…

    You may use these laws to run your business as long as you don’t actually sell the cupcakes through the internet. You can advertise them online, but you can only sell out of your home, and the payment needs to happen in-person. You don’t need a license or inspection from the health dept to run your cottage food operation.

    Not sure who said someone could not sell at a Farmer’s Market but the heart of the law and the wording does not go together with your answers. Not even local authorities can change the heart of this law as stated by Section 6.

    Also, Section 2 #1 clearly states that gross annual sales includes all sales of prepared food produced by the business at any location;

    Many worked tirelessly to see Oklahoma persons the freedom to bake and sell their items freely at Farmer’s Markets and for someone to try to change this is against the law according to the law.

    Cinda, I completely agree and you can complain to the health department about that one. I think that because the law is open-ended about venues, all venues should be allowed. But unfortunately, the health department is the one regulating these businesses and if the law isn’t specific about a point, then their interpretation is the one that gets used. I think the bill’s authors didn’t see this coming and an amendment needs to be passed as soon as possible. Oklahoma’s law would be a pretty good one if this one thing was changed!

    I oversee a Farmer’s Market and the OSDH says those under the Home Bakery Act will NOT be allowed to sell at Farmer’s Markets. I contacted many politicians who put the act into place and they stated they never intended for these items to be sold at Farmer’s Markets. That is was for “Stay-at-Home mom’s who bake cakes”, etc. who want to be able to sell them. They are willing to write legislation that applies strictly to Farmer’s Markets but someone needs to get the ball rolling. That’s hard to to with market coordinators/supervisors as many are seasonally employed and change from year to year.

ok,so as long as i bake the fruit in the cake or cupcakes then we can use it? does this mean basically the finished product cannot be garnished with fresh fruit?

Hi, I have a couple questions. I’ve been baking cakes for friends and family for a couple years now, and I’ve been waiting for this law to go into effect for a while. First off, it says no fresh fruit. If I made, say, a strawberry cake using fresh strawberries, would that count? I mean, the strawberries would be cooked into the cake, so I’d think that’d be ok…? Same question goes for fillings. Do they all just need to be cooked, or can you not use fresh fruits at all? Silly question, I know. Lastly, how would I go about filing taxes and such? Do I need to declare myself a home bakery? If so, how do I do that, and how to I handle taxes and such? Sorry for all the questions, but I’m having a hard time finding answers. Thank you for reading this!

    I know it’s strange… I don’t get it either. In all other states that allow baked goods, a strawberry cake like that would be fine. But in Oklahoma, no fruit means no fruit.

    You are creating a business entity. In the most basic form, that would be a sole proprietorship — even if you didn’t get a business license, you would be considered that by default. I’m not sure, but my guess is that you will have to declare this income as self-employed income (maybe as an independent contractor?). You should know that when you start your own business, you need to pay estimated tax every quarter of the year. Other than that, you will take care of the paperwork at tax time. You should know your business numbers, like gross sales or expenses, and fill out the forms. There may be some other advice worth getting but I’m not experienced enough to know.

    Wow, that’s a little bizzare. Hopefully, they’ll make an amendment to this later, since pies made out of fresh fruit are awfully good. I guess frozen fruit would be ok though? And thanks for the advice. I should be able to work from there :)

    I presume the intent is to allow a cherry or blueberry pie made from a can of cherries or blueberries. It is strange though… if they allowed frozen fruit, then the only reason I could see a distinction is that you are not handling and preparing the fruit yourself (you’re using fruit from an inspected facility), so it’s more likely to be safe — I guess?

    ok so is frozen fruit or fruit out of the can okay, or not. i see it says fresh fruit not okay, but then someone says no fruit at all. to me fresh fruit is just that fresh. but a canned or frozen to me isnt considered fresh, so i guess i just need clarity please

    Tera, you’ll see I’ve given my opinion in the forums, but the truth is that I simply haven’t heard the official ruling from the health dept, so I can’t say for sure since they are the ones making the rules.

    You will also have to have a state sales permit and pay monthly sales taxes to Oklahoma Tax Commission.

    Only baked goods are allowed. I have now removed candy from the list of approved items… at one time I thought that baked candy would be allowed, but I have since learned that baked candy is very uncommon.

    I reached out to he House Represetnative listed on the bill this morning (Dustin Roberts), and his assistant replied to me and said that any homemade candies (cooked on the stovetop or oven) should be fine as long as it did not include any meat or fresh fruit.

    That’s so strange as it directly contradicts the bill language. It’s worth noting, though, that bill authors often aren’t on the same page as the health department. I would be surprised if the health department also holds this ruling.

    I originally heard about this bill by calling the health department and talking with consumer protection, I told them I was starting a business to sell toffee and that I wanted to know what I needed to do to sell at farmers markets and retail stores, and they said I should be covered under this law. I guess we’ll see what happens, seems like everyone is getting contradicting info.

    Health Departments are not on the same page either. The OSDH has said NO selling at Farmer’s Markets whatsoever. I’m interested to know who you spoke with as I deal with them quite frequently in regard to a farmer’s market.

Regarding Home Bakery Act that is effective Nov. 1st, 2013:

“Per the Oklahoma State Health Department, the home bakery act restricts the sale of food to the home only. They will not be allowed to set up at events or farmers markets.”

this was also posted on a public forum….I have read and reread the actual bill and don’t see where this interpretation has come from….I am SO disappointed….won’t even allow free samples

    Nancy, did you see this anywhere other than a public forum? I seriously think you all have grounds for a dispute on this. If there is not law to back it up, then you should be able to go ahead with selling at events without the risk of being taken to court.

    Apparently several potential vendors were denied booth space to this event based on the HD response. I’ve tried to find a someone to contact but am having NO LUCK. I think the decision is being based on the first sentence of Sec 2 #1 ” ‘Home food establishment’ shall mean a business on the premises of a residence in which prepared food is created for sale or resale, for consumption off premises” I seriously have no idea….

    I have also visited the state health department and received the same information, but they admitted that they really don’t know, but stressed that I just need to follow the law as written. So I am selling at events. I was told the attorney generals office will be the place to find out, but have had no luck getting a response from them.

    I too have been told the same thing by two different health inspectors. I cannot under any circumstances sell outside the home. So, I called the Representative’s office who authored the bill and got the same response. When I ask for clarification because the state statute says, “As used in the Home Bakery Act of 2013:

    1. “Home food establishment” shall mean a business on the premises of a residence in which prepared food is created for sale or resale, for consumption off the premises, if the business has gross annual sales of prepared food of less than Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00). Gross annual sales includes all sales of prepared food produced by the business at any location; and

    2. “Prepared food” shall mean any baked goods except for products that contain meat products or fresh fruit.

    It clearly states for sale or resale and does not list where it can be sold. She called her research team to ask and called me within the hour and said that they replied that you may only sell from your home and not even on the internet. When I questioned where it states that in the law, she could not explain. She did tell me that if I sold outside the home that she was afraid there might be legal ramifications but she herself could not answer that. She told me that the Representative was out of the country right now, but she would be speaking with him when he got back because of the amount of phone calls she had received about the Home Bakery Act of 2013. So still there are questions and I myself am not willing to be the one who goes to court to get clarification, because I cannot afford to do so.

    Jennifer, that sounds like a pretty firm response. That is really unfortunate, but I will change the page for now, so other people know what to expect. Hopefully, an amendment can pass in the future, like Texas just did this year to expand sales venues.

    at the top of this page, it says, Direct sales only, on the left hand side. Definition
    direct sales
    Web definitions
    Direct selling is the marketing and selling of products directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location. Peddling is the oldest form of direct selling. ..
    so, as long as your items are labelel properly, I don’t think you can be denied a spot on that pretense

    Pam, this page is just a summary of the law, so please don’t take it as evidence of a ruling. The field at the top of the page is only meant to indicate whether sales are “Direct only” or “Direct and indirect”. In this case, only direct sales are allowed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all types of direct sales are allowed.

This was recently posted in a public forum concerning public sales at community events: “Per the Oklahoma State Health Department, the home bakery act restricts the sale of food to the home only. They will not be allowed to set up at events or farmers markets.”
I find this discouraging, but also didn’t interpret the bill this way. Any input?

    Very disappointing, but also possibly unfounded. The law specifically states “Gross annual sales includes all sales of prepared food produced by the business at any location“. Given that that is the only part of the law that talks about where cottage food operations can sell, I think the “any location” part would indicate that there is no restriction on where CFOs can sell. I definitely think there are grounds to dispute that interpretation by the health department, if that is what they are saying.

Can you give an example of a “baked” hard candy? All the hard candy I know of is cooked in a pan on a stovetop. I also note that soft candy is listed? Does that include something like fudge, which is usually also cooked on a stovetop and not baked in an oven.

    Oklahoma’s law states that only baked goods are allowed. I honestly am not sure if that would really include candy, but the reason I added it is because some state (I can’t remember which) said that only baked candy was allowed there. I am no candy expert, but that gave me the idea that baked candy is a possible cottage food. But given your comment, it sounds like not many candies would fall into that category.

So if I wanted to make fondant cupcake toppers and fondant figures to sell on the internet, would that be okay? Another question. Could I sell cupcakes out of a deli or gas/food establishment if the owner says its okay? And when you say baked cakes, would the icing made with butter and sugar then covered with fondant be okay?

    The law is really unclear about the question of what is allowed when it comes to baked goods. In most states, baked goods with a buttercream frosting or something similar are just fine. The fondant toppers you mention would be fine in most states too. However, the law, as it is written, would not technically allow this. Let’s hope the health department offers more clarification when the law goes into effect in November.

    Yes, you will be able to sell from a food establishment.

So I take it I can’t sell cheesecakes, either online or wholesale since it has to be refrigerated? Does that mean I have to obtain a license? If so, what department do I go through to obtain one? And do I have to use a commercial kitchen?

    You’re right — you can’t make cheesecakes from home and would need a commercial kitchen to do so. You can contact your health department to start the process of getting setup as a standard food business.

    David, do you have an update in response to this question from Cathy Johnston referring to having a sales tax ID? I would assume that legally you would need one???? Thanks!

    I still haven’t heard anything yet, and it’s hard to find this info online. Usually CFOs are not required to collect state sales tax, but I can’t say for sure. You will probably need to talk on the phone to someone in the govt to get the answer (maybe the Oklahoma Tax Commission?).

    has anyone found out for sure if we are required to pay monthly sales tax? I have been… but it would be nice to find out we didn’t really have to. It would sure keep the paperwork down and keep things simple!

I notice the list of allowed products to be made at home & sold includes hard and soft candies including brittle. I’ve never heard of brittle being baked. Would soft candy with nuts and other products (purchased at the grocery store), and cooked in an electric skillet be allowed under this new Ok law?

Please forgive any ignorance I’m a bout to demonstrate. In the few years that I have lived in OK, I have seen churches and other groups sell home made products for fund raising. Now that I’ve needed to do so myself, and have decent fund raising potential, it occurred to me to look into these exact laws. From what I am reading, it is ILLEGAL at this time to sell home made food product in the state of OK, period? If so, how is it that churches, etc, do so regularly? Is there something I am overlooking? I am specifically interested in candy sales that are not baked and are made from shelf stable products. I appreciate this site and the help it can provide, which is something I have been searching for for quite a while now!

    Renee, there are special laws that exempt churches and similar fundraisers from needing to have a license to hold a bake sale.

    What you are reading is correct… it has been and still will be illegal to sell any food product from home until November 1st. Many people don’t know this and run their small businesses illegally by selling to friends and family.

    Unfortunately for you, your unbaked candy would still not be allowed under these laws, meaning that you would need to go through the process of getting licensed and preparing everything in a commercial kitchen, if you wished to sell your product. Some people decide to change what they are selling in order to fall under the cottage food law, just to see how they like running a food business. If they are profitable, then they can invest in taking the next step and making everything they want to.

    Thank you for your response. The laws concerning churches would be what I need to find, because this is specifically to raise funds for a Bible quizzing team I coach. I will try to find them. If you have links or other info concerning them, I would greatly appreciate it.


    Thank you for the link! You have been so very helpful! One of my biggest concerns was whether I could take my candies to other church’s craft fairs, and this confirms that I can, as long as I put out a sign saying it was made in a non-inspected kitchen, etc. It does appear to specify “functions” and not just continual sales, so I am looking into what that would entail, but I am very happy with what you have found for me!

I am interested in chocolate molded… It is bought solid then melted and put into molds… Does that fall under this bill?

    Dear Renee: Candy can be made because the ingredients are already inspected. When you purchase chocolate chips, they have been inspected. Just because you do not stick them in the oven does not mean that you can’t make candy. I helped get the law passed and it does not say that you cannot make candy. You can make anything that does not use fresh fruit, meat or dairy products that would be sitting out such as coconut cream, banana cream pie, cheesecakes or any other type of this product.

    The Health Department would have the final say on this one, but my guess is that they still would not allow it, even though the chocolate has already been inspected. The law does say that only baked goods fall under this law, and that would exclude anything that is not a baked good. When you remove the chocolate from the package and remold it, you are handling it and “preparing” it in your home kitchen. In my mind, there is no question that your final product is going to be totally safe. I want to agree with Mary Jane, but I’m trying to think like the Health Department would, and I think they would look at the law and say no. You should call them and maybe they will let you do it.

I am very interested in selling my baked goods but have had a hard time finding additional information. I have tried searching tulsa counties health departments website and find no information. Any more information on the classes mentioned or any additional sources of information would be great! Thanks

    Nancy, probably the reason why health departments haven’t posted info is because you don’t have to get a license from them. You can just start your business right now, but you should check with your planning division to make sure there aren’t any zoning requirements for where you live.

    Neither of those are allowed under this law. You may want to check out SB 920, which seems to have died in the last session. If it were revived and passed, it would allow you to make jelly and relish from home.

David: The Oklahoma Food Bill signed by the Governor in April, and goes into effect on November 1. I helped write the bill, and I helped get it passed. Sir I know it goes into effect to use the bill. It has been passed. I talked to Dustin Roberts about the bill and am meeting with him next week to discuss any issues. I will tell your readers about issues that may come up. We are going to teach bakers who are interested in selling their products how to set up their businesses, taxes, places to look for sales, what can be sold and can’t be sold.

    Where can we find out about the classes you are talking about? I am very interest in anything related to food handling and baking thanks for any help

    Mary Jane Newlon,

    Thank you for all your info on here there has been ALOT of different concerns and questions. I have found you insite the most helpful. Now I have all I need to start my own business from home.

    I’m very interested in these classes as well. Does anyone have details, costs and contact information? Thanks!

I want to sell homemade breads which are on the list, but I also make homemade pasta. Is this allowed to be sold? Also, what happens if you start your business before November 1, 2013?

    Kaycee, it looks like pasta is not on Oklahoma’s approved list yet. Maybe they’ll add it eventually or maybe you could help initiate an amendment to get it on there.

    If you start your business before November 1st then you would be doing business illegally. You wouldn’t be the first to do so though.

I was considering starting an online cupcake business. Is it legal to sell cupcakes, and I like to blend fresh fruit into a sauce and add it as a batter to the cupcake mix. Is that legal as well? Thanks for your help :)

    Once the law goes into effect in November, then yes, selling cupcakes would be legal. Usually, as long as the fruit you’re mixing into the batter is then baked, it should be fine. Oklahoma has unique text about fresh fruit in baked goods, and it’s still uncertain how the health department will interpret this — see my reply to C. Greenfeather below.

    Why did you not put HB 1094 on your listing for Oklahoma.? It is in effect. I talked to Dustin Roberts and there has been nothing said about Senate Bill 920.

    Mary Jane, this page is all about HB 1094. You can see that it’s listed as the top resource in the Resources section above. If you read to the bottom of the bill, you can see that it goes into effect on November 1st. There is a difference between it getting passed and signed by the governor (which already happened), and it going into effect. I know… the law process is confusing. I can see that the top description of this page doesn’t include “HB 1094″ — thanks for noting that and I’ll add it.

    The only way to sell ice cream is to make it in a commercial kitchen. Selling homemade ice cream is illegal in every state and will likely continue to be illegal for some time. The exception would be that in some states, it’s possible to build a commercial kitchen in your house, but that can be prohibitively expensive anyway.

    I can’t be absolutely sure. The law says “Prepared food shall mean any baked goods except for products that contain meat products or fresh fruit.” I take that to mean that fresh, uncooked fruit cannot be in the final product — for instance, a cake could not be topped with fresh strawberries. I would think that a fresh strawberry pie would be fine, but it really depends on the health department’s interpretation.

My husband and I purchase cheese from the grocery store and hickory smoke it. Friends and family have suggested we need to sell it. Are there any special requirement for something like this since we don’t make the cheese?

    Linda, unfortunately cheese wouldn’t fall under the cottage food law because it needs to be refrigerated and is considered perishable. Even though you’re not making it, by smoking it you are technically “processing” it. To be certified to do this legally, you would need to do this in a commercial kitchen and be licensed as a food processor, which could be a significant investment of time and money.

    I would say that if you are mostly selling it to family and friends, and not through retail stores, the health department probably would turn a blind eye if you’re making it out of your home. At worst they would simply inform you and ask you to stop. A lot of people start their food businesses this way (illegally), and it’s something that cottage food laws were designed to address. But I’m sorry to say that cheeses are definitely not a cottage food!

    I’ve never seen asian dumplings on any cottage food list, but it’s possible that they would be fine in some states. However, my guess is that Oklahoma wouldn’t allow them because they only allow baked goods, and aren’t most dumplings boiled?

    your dumplings should be fine considering the are considered either a pasta or pastry which is in the list of what you CAN DO so they would fall into one of those two catagory.

    Actually, now that the law has been implemented, I now know that dumplings would not be allowed. The item must be baked to be allowed.

    D’Anna, it’s quite possible that candy would be allowed, as long as it’s baked. More details about what is allowed will probably come from the health department when the law goes into effect in November.

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