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cottage food community

Utah

Utah requires a relatively lengthy application process to sell cottage foods, but fortunately, the law is quite flexible once the cottage food operator is setup. The $107 (or more) process involves a business license application, food handler training, a home inspection, and a cottage food product application, which includes detailed written recipes and possibly product testing at a lab. Utah has a number of requirements for the operation’s workspace, and one uncommon requirement is that operators must keep a 14-day sample of every batch of food they make.

Once they are setup, cottage food operations are relatively unrestricted in almost every other way. Sales can be made anywhere within the state (as long as other food establishments don’t incorporate the food into their products), and operators can sell as much as they want. The list of allowed foods is very comprehensive, as they basically allow anything that is non-perishable at room temperature. If cottage food operators can get past the initial hassle of applying, they are given quite a bit of freedom in how they choose to run their business.

Selling

The operator must display a copy of their registration certificate wherever they sell their products.

Sales may be made anywhere within the state, direct or indirect, but food establishments may not use cottage food products as ingredients in their food.

Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

If the operator grows fruits or vegetables that they use in their products, they must first get a private pesticide applicator certification if they use any pesticides.

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

There is no sales limit

Pets are never allowed in the kitchen, and free-roaming pets, like cats or dogs, are only allowed in the home if they can be permanently blocked from entering the kitchen.

Business

Food Handler Training

First, every cottage food operator must take a training course by getting an approved Food Handler’s Permit. There are many of these courses available around the state, and they can be completed in-person or online for about $25.

Product submission

Detailed recipes must be submitted to the UDAF (Utah Department of Agriculture and Food) for every product the operator is going to sell. For some recipes, the department may request that the product be sent into a food processing authority for testing to ensure that it is safe when left at room temperature, which would incur an extra fee per product. Usually only items like canned goods, carrot cake, or zucchini bread need to be tested.

Business license

Cottage food operations must also have a business license, which can be a simple DBA (Doing Business As) license. The fee for a license is at least $22.

Registration

Operators must submit an application (which may be done via regular mail or email) and review the checklist. Registration costs $30 and must be renewed annually.

Home inspection

Once the application is turned in, an inspector will come to the home of the operation to make sure it is abiding by the rules. The home inspection is another $30.

Private well testing

If the water supply for the kitchen comes from a private well, it must be tested annually, which would incur an additional fee.

Once approved, the cottage food operator will receive a certificate so they can start selling their products. The process for getting approved can take many weeks, especially for applications with many recipes attached.

All told, the registration should cost at least $107, but it could be hundreds of dollars if food testing, water testing, and/or a different business license or food handlers permit are needed.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Home Produced" (12-point bold type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, UT 73531


Phone: (123) 456-7890


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)


If the operator would like to withhold nutritional labeling, they must request an exemption.

Products that are on-demand (delivery or pickup), like wedding cakes, do not need full labels, but an ingredient list must be made available to the buyer on request.

Basic Labeling Requirements for Home Produced Foods (sample labels)

Workplace

A sample from each batch of product must be kept for 14 days, and it must be labeled with the date and time it was produced.

Non-employees are not allowed in the kitchen while processing for the business is occurring.

Any equipment that is pet-related, like cages or bowls, may not be cleaned in the kitchen.

Supplies and ingredients for the business must be stored in a separate location from those for personal use.

There are many more workplace requirements which are listed in the Cottage Food Guidelines.

Resources

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Comments

What is the law on shipping handmade decorative cookies outside of Utah? I know some states you can ship and some you can’t. I cannot find anywhere on the site where it talks about it. Thanks

From what I gather, I can make cookies out of my home to sell if:
1) I get a cottage license
2) food handlers permit
3) have a separate fridge for perishable items that will be used (can this fridge be kept in the garage)
4) the cooking utensils, mixer and bakeware that I use for my family can also be used for the baking of my cookies as long as they are cleaned per instructions listed. Correct?
5) if I sell them on demand no label is required. But if I sell them at a fair individually packaged, they are required, correct?
5) how long does it take usually to get approved?
6) if I am doing this as a fundraiser, can you tell me how taxes work? Thank you!

Is that right?
Also, I know the other ingredients used need to not be stored smong my family’s items. Can they just gave their own shelf? Or do they need to be completely separate?

    1) Yes
    2) Yes, plus the other items in the Business section above
    3) It can probably be in the garage, but then I think you’ll have to prevent pets from ever being in the garage or in between the garage and kitchen.
    4) It sounds like they only recommend, not require, that your utensils and supplies be kept separate from personal ones.
    5) Typically those exemptions are for items where labeling is impractical. For instance, a wedding cake (a custom item) can’t really be boxed and labeled. Also, a restaurant wouldn’t want to give their customer a boxed cupcake (an on-demand item). You’re also allowed to give customers a product, like a cupcake, from a bulk container, in which case the full packaging and labeling isn’t required — that could happen at a fair, from my interpretation. I would think that most of your products will be labeled when sold.
    6) I don’t know… you should contact Rebecca.
    7) If you are fully donating your time and money (you don’t take any money from sales), then you might be entirely exempt without going through this process. http://forrager.com/faq/#nonprofit
    8) My guess is that a separate shelf would be fine, though I don’t know for sure.

    It depends on what you are doing. If you are making items that require refrigeration or shipping your products, you need to use a commercial kitchen. I assume you are already setup as a cottage food establishment?

My fiance wants to make and sell Chinese Potstickers/Dumplings at farmers markets around Utah, but i do not see them on the list. What do we do?

I’m interested in buying a cotton candy machine so I can make cotton candy and give it away for free at a local public event, what are the laws regarding this? Do I need to be a permitted food handler, etc? It is not as a business, it would just be my family producing and giving away. I have seen people do this with popcorn, but I’m not sure about Cotton Candy… Thanks

I have 2 kitchens, one uostairs and one downstairs. I would be using the downstairs kitchen for all mixing and baking but can I use the upstairs oven for baking only so I can get the baking done faster?

    I really don’t know. Typically cottage food operations are restricted to only one kitchen, but in Utah’s case, the law doesn’t specify. You’ll have to ask Rebecca at the ag dept for a final word on this.

Im looking into selling produce from our families farm the water supple is a free flowing Artesian well ran through pvc pipe and then flood irrigated some times pump though hoses and sprinklers on the garden looking at planting most root crops potatoes, carrots, beets ext where can i find more info or can you provide the info needed? thank you for your time.

    If you are selling uncut produce, there really aren’t any restrictions on doing that. You don’t need a license from the ag dept or anything.

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