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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Job Title
- Cottage Food Program Coordinator/Labeling Specialist
- Utah Department of Agriculture and Food
- PO Box 146500
350 N Redwood Road
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6500