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Texas

Texas passed an amendment (HB 970) to their cottage food law in September 2013, which greatly loosened the restrictions of their original cottage food law (SB 81).

The biggest change with the amendment is that cottage food operations can sell outside of their homes, such as at farmers markets or other events. Indirect sales to retail stores are still not allowed, but it is a huge step of progress. Texas also now has a good number of foods that are allowed to be made from home, but the sales limit per year is still $50,000. Although no licenses are required, cottage food operations need to take a food handler’s training course.

A new bill (HB 2600) was introduced in 2015, but it died in its legislative session. It would have created a new type of home food business, termed a “home food processor”, and it would not have affected the current cottage food law. It was a fairly ambitious bill, aiming to let home food processors sell from any venue, ship within Texas, and make more food items (like perishable baked goods). A version of this bill will probably be reintroduced in 2016.

Selling

“Events” only refers to municipal, county, or nonprofit events (including fairs and festivals). Sales cannot be made at other events, such as state fairs or privately sponsored public events (like craft fairs and flea markets).

Only roadside stands that are on farms (aka “farm stands”) are allowed.

Allowed Foods

Only traditional cucumber pickles are allowed. Despite many types of chocolate-covered items and baked goods being allowed, rice krispie treats and chocolate-covered graham crackers are specifically not allowed.

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

Sales are limited to $50,000 per year

Business

Food handler training program

Cottage food operators must take an accredited training program for food handlers. There are many options to choose from, including online courses that usually cost $10 – $15.

Sales and Use Tax Permit

With the exception of candy or candy-coated items, most cottage food products are exempt from sales tax if they are not sold hot or with utensils. To learn more, read this document, and for further clarification, contact the Comptroller.

Zoning laws cannot prohibit a cottage food operation. If your municipality says you cannot operate from your home, you should dispute it.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This food is made in a home kitchen and is not inspected by the Department of State Health Services or a local health department."


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, TX 73531

Although a specific allergen list is not required, any major food allergens in your products must be listed in the ingredient list or somewhere else on the label.

Resources

Law Dates
September 2011
SB 81
July 2012
25 TAC 229.661
September 2013
HB 970
This page was last updated on

Comments

I am out of Texas. I would like to sell ONLINE and ship within Texas whole carved watermelons. Nothing will be added to them they are simply whole watermelons that have been carved with a design and shipped in a cold shipping container. Please let me know! Thanks!

I’ve been making my own hot sauce for a couple of years now, selling directly to friends, family and co-workers here in Texas. Am I breaking the law? Also, what is the possibility that we may be able to sell online in the future?

    Yes, I think you’re technically breaking the law, since hot sauce would need to be made in a commercial kitchen. And I’d say that it’s very unlikely that selling homemade hot sauce online will become legal anytime in the near future.

I just want to verify that in Texas you are allowed to sell cookies, made at home and packaged/labeled according to the cottage food law requirements, at ANY non-profit event.
There are several fairs coming up this fall, both of which have confirmed they are non-profit events, but craft items and other various vendor items, including food, are being sold there as well.

Hello
I wan to start making homemade dog treats. What are the rules in Texas for that & who do I contact?

Hello! What are the requirements to sell dry tea blended with dry fruits and flowers online? I am based out of Texas.

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