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cottage food community


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.


“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. Rice krispie treats and chocolate-covered graham crackers are 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


Sales are limited to $50,000 per year


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.


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.


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


What makes something a perishable baked good versus a non perishable baked good? It seems like banana breads and such would go bad after a week or so. Also can I have a website as long as it is just listing information about the home-based business with phone number to contact us, and what about a facebook page?

    A potentially-hazardous food should not be left out of the fridge for more than a few hours. A non-PHF can be left out of the fridge continually without forming harmful bacteria. A loaf of bread might mold and “go bad”, but that doesn’t mean it would be harmful for you to eat it. That being said, some types of banana bread are too moist (have a high water activity level) and would be considered potentially hazardous.

    You can advertise your business in any way, including online, just so long as you are selling in-person.

If you are producing an item that has all items that are pre-baked or preserved but having to blend it all together you do have to bake it to make it hold together would this be considered a “baked good”, nothing is raw and all items are cooked before using. Is this considered a bake good???

    Maybe you can give an idea for what that would be? If you take two items that are thoroughly-baked and allowed under this law, and then mix them together, I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t be allowed. If you open a preserve and mix that in, I’m not so sure.

Hi David, are you aware of the ability of having the health dept inspect your home so that an individual can produce “perishable” type bakery items to be sold at a farmers market? Thank you

    You will need to check with your county, but I believe that registering a fictitious business name on a business license is usually required.

The little “i’s” mean things that are allowed or not allowed!! I’m confused. I was all set up to run cottage and now I’m being told I can’t make banana or apple bread. My two signature recipes. I’m not understanding your chart I guess because I must be ignorant. Thank you!

    The “i’s” only show that there is extra information available when you hover over or click on those items. Everything in green lists is allowed. I don’t know who’s telling you that you can’t make banana or apple bread, because I was under the impression that those were allowed.

Hi David!
I’m thinking about selling pretzels, marshmallows, and dehydrated fruit covered in chocolate, caramel, or yogurt is that possible under the cottage law in Texas? Thank you in advance

    The health dept has made it clear that chocolate-covered graham crackers are not allowed, and therefore, I’m not entirely confident that anything chocolate-covered is allowed. It doesn’t really make sense to me why they wouldn’t be allowed and what the specific restrictions on chocolate-covered items are, so I’d recommend calling the health dept. Pretzels, dried fruit, chocolate, and caramel are all allowed food items, so my assumption is that any combination thereof would also be allowed.

    You probably can’t sell homemade marshmallows, but you may be able to sell chocolate-covered marshmallows using store-bought marshmallows. Yogurt is definitely not allowed.

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