Hawaii Can you legally sell food from home in Hawaii?
Cottage Food Law
In 2017, the Hawaii Department of Health updated their food safety rules to allow for homemade food sales, which is different than most states which created their cottage food law through the passage of a bill.
Residents can sell most types of low-risk foods without needing a permit from the health department. Only direct (in-person) sales are allowed: online and indirect (restaurant and retail store) sales are not allowed. There is no sales limit, and home cooks must take a food safety course before they can sell their food.
Prior to 2017, some individuals tried to pass many cottage food bills (most recently SB 379 & HB 1174) without success. At that time, it was only possible to sell homemade food at events with a temporary permit (valid for 20 days within a 4 month period). Hawaii was one of the last states to adopt a basic cottage food law.
Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?
Some farmers markets and events may require you to get a special event permit.
Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?
Limitations How will your home food business be restricted?
Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?
Before selling homemade food, you must complete a food safety training course, which is valid for three years. You have two options:
- Attend a Food Safety Education Workshop for free on your island.
- Complete an ANSI Accredited food handler class online. Courses typically cost less than $15 and can be completed in 2 – 3 hours. A great one is the Learn2Serve Food Handler Course.
Labeling How do you label cottage food products?
Chocolate Chip Cookies
"Made in a home kitchen not routinely inspected by the Department of Health"
Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, HI 73531
You do not need to put your business address on the label, but you must include “contact information”. This could be your business address (PO boxes are allowed), email address, or phone number (or any combination of the three). The health department’s example label shows an address and phone number.
Workplace Are there any home kitchen requirements?
You must have a hand washing sink available at all times during food prep.
The health department has the ability to inspect your kitchen on a regular basis, though they are not required to do so.
Resources Where can you find more information about this law?
- Department of Health
- Sanitation Branch
- For general questions, and more information about allowed foods
Local Sanitation Branch Offices
- September 2017
- HAR 11-50 New Food Safety Rules
Id like to start small, cooked to order food at farmers market or hospital weekly market or road side. I see people doing this and am wondering how they are able to sell plate lunch type foods. The whole kitchen thing seems to be my issue.
Hello, I’m wondering what rules I need to follow. I have an idea of selling homemade dog treats and cakes. What permits do I need and do I need to do it in a commercial kitchen?
under Hawaii cottage food laws can freeze dried dairy products be sold to consumers
Are home-bakers allowed to do advertising online? I know sales cannot be made online, but what about marketing or posting an ad for your home baked goods?
Does this rule include a one time bake sale at a school??
Hawai’i now allows homemade foods to be sold upon completion of a 2 1/2 hour class. See Dept of Health website and this link https://health.hawaii.gov/san/files/2017/09/HMF-handout.pdf
Thanks for the info! I have updated this law page to reflect the new rules.
I am planning to produce spirulina at my home and distribute to local health food stores for human consumption. What are the health department regulations and certification that I would need?
You would need to get permitted by the health department and use a commercial kitchen to produce the spirulina. Even with the new rules that allow homemade food, you would not be able to sell to retail stores, and I don’t think the health department would approve it as an allowed food. https://forrager.com/faq/#commercial
Since this is the first hit that comes up with a Google search, I thought I should update this info. Homemade food is now legal in Hawaii:
Food Law Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) Chapter 11-50 Food Safety Code
Thanks for letting me know! This is great news.
Hi David, I am thinking of doing a small food van selling vegan snacks once a week. From what your are saying I should be able to get a temporary permit to do that ( I will be prepping the snacks at my home).
As long as you are selling the items at an event, yes you could get a temporary permit. More importantly, with the new rules, you can likely sell your vegan snacks (as long as they are non-perishable) without needing any permit.