Skip to main content
Logo for Forrager
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

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

Contacts

Rebecca Nielsen

Job Title
Cottage Food Program Coordinator/Labeling Specialist
Organization
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food
Email
rjnielsen@utah.gov
Telephone
801-538-7152
Fax
801-538-4949
Address
PO Box 146500
350 N Redwood Road
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6500
Law Dates
April 2007
HB 339
May 2008
HB 63
This page was last updated on

Comments

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.

How would I go about selling homemade Ice Cream to a local small business? This website talks about non-perishable items, what about perishable food items such as Ice Cream? Are there different requirements?

I know this is a cottage food info site, however was wondering if you know then would someone be able to use a health department approved establishment to produce items such as the macaroni salad, sauerkraut, salsa, etc. For example a local pizza joint/restaurant hosting my production of fresh made salsa? Ingredients would include canned, stewed tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, salt and/or mango, canned corn, canned black beans. I make awesome salsas and have been strongly encouraged by many to market it.

Hello,
A year ago I talked to Rebeca about getting a Permit for food Cottage, but in between my work and moving to a new house, things got complicated and I left my projects aside. But I would like to continue taking on my project and finish it this time. 
Though I still want to do at least 1 label for a product that I want to introduce, i would like first to get started with Custom/On Demand ( Full Services) Foods. But to finish completing my application, I need to finish writing the Business Plan, which I am a little confused with: 
1. What kind of format do you expect, should I hire an expert in business, or can I do it my self? 
2. If it is Custom, do I have to write each individual recipe that may or may not be used? This can be a little confusing because cakes and sweets will be made to liking of the clientele.
3. Should I start registering my business, before the aplication?
thanks 

    These are all questions that would be better addressed if you called Rebecca, but here’s my take:
    1) You can do it yourself
    2) Not sure
    3) I’d recommend you try to get the application from Rebecca, and then if she requires a business license before proceeding, go ahead and get that. If you do it in the wrong order, someone will eventually correct you.

Thank you for all the great information on this page. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a small food business out of my Sanpete county home and this is very helpful.

Is it possible to have travel trailer certified as a cottage kitchen? We have indoor pets and would not be able to use our home kitchen, but I would be willing to purchase a travel trailer for the sole purpose of cottage foods.

Why are internet and mail order sales limited to Utah? I see fudge, cupcakes etc on etsy and other sites that allow homemade items, and they do not say only for sale if you live in whatever state you live in. Also why would a product that is already approved have to be saved for 14 days? I don’t think anything saved for that long would test well.

    It is because each state has different rules about these kinds of sales, and the federal food code does not allow homemade goods to be sold, so they are not applicable across state lines. It is true that many people do interstate sales of homemade foods illegally through Etsy and the like.

    Utah and New Mexico are the only states I know of that has you keep a sample for that long. I believe the reasoning behind it is that if a customer calls the health dept with a complaint about your food, then that dept can use the label to find where it was produced and then ask you for the sample from that batch so they can test it and figure out what the problem is. Even though a 14-day-old sample might not be very fresh, remember that all your products need to be non-potentially hazardous, meaning that they won’t grow harmful bacteria when left unrefrigerated. Bread might get moldy but it’s still not technically hazardous, whereas meat after 14 days would have all sorts of harmful bacteria growing on it.

Your application and checklist links aren’t accurate. Is there a way to update those, or give directions as to where we could find them? Thanks! And thanks for the great information!

Do you know if it is a requirement to use bleach to sanitize countertops/utensils/etc? Or can other sanitizers (ie botanical cleansers or disinfectants) be used?

    Other sanitizers can be used, if they are approved. As detailed in this document, you need to have sanitizer test strips anyway to ensure that your sanitizer is safe. This should be something your inspector covers when they visit your home.

I am the program coordinator for the Utah Cottage Food Program. Some of the information on your web site is incorrect.

For example, dogs are allowed in the home if the operator can demonstrate that they are permanently restricted from entering the kitchen (such as with gates or closed doors on second kitchens).

Sales of cottage food products are restricted to only within the state, and this includes internet and mail order sales.

Your list of accepted products includes several that are probably not able to be made, including relishes, salsa, and sauerkraut.

Finally, your example label is not correct, in several particulars. Several ingredients lack the required constituent ingredients, the allergen list is missing “soy”, which is present in the product, and the net weight is missing the weight in ounces (which is required for all weights up to 4 pounds). And for a package that large, the net weight would probably need to be in larger type, as well.

Your page is a good resource, but needs to offer correct information.

Rebecca Nielsen
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

    So, sauerkraut is not an allowed item? Why is that? Even if it is lacto-fermented & lab tested? What about other lacto-ferments?

    From what I gather from Rebecca’s comments, food that is non-potentially hazardous is allowed, but it would be difficult to make sauerkraut to be a non-PHF. I know that other states allow sauerkraut, so my guess is that it can be done. In general, vegetables need refrigeration once they’ve been cut… the acidity level of sauerkraut is what would keep bacteria from growing, but it needs to have the right amount to be safe.

    Hi Rebecca,

    I make a macaroni salad that many people have said I need to market. I did not see macaroni salad on the approved list. Am I out of luck?

    Thank you,

    Ron

    Ronald, macaroni salad usually has mayonnaise and other PHFs in it, so it would not be allowed to make from home as a cottage food. Generally, if something needs to be refrigerated, it won’t work.

    Quick follow up on sauerkraut, relish, salsa, etc.. Is it something which could be sold if pressure canned?

    When talking about pickled items, it’s assumed that they’re properly canned. So all of the above is referring to canned pickled goods.

or comment as a guest
* required (your email will not be displayed on the site)
Allowed tags