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.
Some farmers markets and events may require you to get a special event permit.
Before selling homemade food, you must complete a food safety training course, which is valid for three years. You have two options:
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.
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.
- 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