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cottage food community

South Carolina

South Carolina’s cottage food laws are very basic and are intended to get someone started before opening a full-scale commercial operation. They only allow operators to make baked goods and candy, which is more restrictive than most other states. However, the main limitation is that they only allow $15,000 of sales per year. Sales must be made directly to the consumer, so while selling to retail stores or restaurants is prohibited, most other venues are permitted.

Although there is no license for cottage food operations, all home-based food businesses in South Carolina must get a business license for tax purposes. In addition, they must apply for a simple exemption from registration and inspection, and certain product may require lab analysis. All in all, the process to get setup with these laws is quite minimal.

Selling

Allowed Foods

Only “candy and baked goods that are not potentially hazardous foods” are allowed. Moist breads like zucchini, pumpkin, and banana bread may not be allowed. Candy-coated nuts, dried fruits, and popcorn are all considered “candy”. Here’s some more detailed info about allowed foods.

Lab testing may be required on certain types of food products, like fruit pies (see Business section).

To sell custom-order baked goods, like wedding cakes, you must contact the DHEC at 803-896-0640.

You can sell under 400 gallons of honey directly to the consumer by applying for an exemption.

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

Limitations

Limitations
Sales are limited to $15,000 per year

Business

Application For Cottage Exemption

Each operation must apply for an exemption from registration and inspection, which does not cost anything.

State business license

While there is no license specific to the cottage food laws, each operation must be licensed as a business by the state for tax purposes, which costs $50. The code for this license is 445291. Operators must file taxes every month (even if they make no sales).

Product Analysis

Lab testing may be required on certain types of food products, like fruit pies and moist quick breads. More information about product analysis can be found at the bottom of the first page of the application.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"NOT FOR RESALE – PROCESSED AND PREPARED BY A HOME-BASED FOOD PRODUCTION OPERATION THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO SOUTH CAROLINA'S FOOD SAFETY REGULATIONS"


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, SC 73531


Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)


Contains: milk, eggs, wheat, soy


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


More labeling info can be found in the Cottage Foods Labeling Guidance document.

Workplace

Ingredients for the business must be kept separate from those for personal use.

Resources

Contacts

Angie Culler-Matthews

Job Title
Program Coordinator
Organization
SCDA Food & Feed Safety
Email
aculler@scda.sc.gov
Telephone
803-734-7321

Alicia Attaway

Job Title
Administrative Assistant
Organization
SCDA Consumer Services
Email
ahendrix@scda.sc.gov
Telephone
803-737-9700
Address
123 Ballard Court
West Columbia, SC 29172

Kimberly Baker

Job Title
Food Safety Associate
Organization
Clemson University Cooperative Extension
Email
kabaker@clemson.edu
Telephone
864-986-6014
About
Handles product approval and testing

Adair Hoover

Job Title
Food Safety Agent
Organization
Clemson University Cooperative Extension
Email
cpope@clemson.edu
Telephone
864-656-9986
About
Handles product approval and testing
Law Dates
June 2012
H4689
This page was last updated on

Comments

David, I just found this site with all of the info that I have been searching for for several weeks! I believe the questions regarding marshmallows were in reference to me. I did make a candied bacon/maple one and realize that because of the bacon it is not allowed, so it will no longer be offered. Marshmallows can be made with or without the use of eggs. I do not use them in mine. There is an issue that I fail to understand, though. If chocolate is allowed… truffles, toffee, bark, etc. (and according to the list of what is allowed, it is), then why have I been told that I can’t dip or drizzle my marshmallows in a chocolate coating? This doesn’t make any sense to me. Who would I contact to find out? I emailed Kimberly Baker last week, but didn’t get a response, and many of my questions have been answered here. But I would like clarification on that one. The primary ingredient in marshmallows is definitely sugar, so I don’t see what the problem is! HELP!

    Oftentimes, chocolate-covered marshmallows are associated with an onsite chocolate fountain, which is a catering business and wouldn’t be allowed. If you are dipping the marshmallows in chocolate in your home and packaging them there, I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t be allowed. You can try contacting the ag dept for more clarification.

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