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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.

Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

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 How will your home food business be restricted?

There is no sales limit

Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?

Food Safety Training

Before selling homemade food, you must complete a food safety training course, which is valid for three years. You have two options:

  1. Attend a Food Safety Education Workshop for free on your island.
  2. 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?

Sample Label

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
Law Dates
September 2017
HAR 11-50 New Food Safety Rules

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Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

Hawaii Forum Got questions? Join the discussion

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This forum contains 1 topic and 1 reply, and was last updated by  David Crabill 7 years, 3 months ago.

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Hi David,
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.
Thank you.

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?

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?

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?

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.

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