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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?

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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?

Contacts
Organization
Department of Health
Department
Sanitation Branch
About
For general questions, and more information about allowed foods
Law Dates
September 2017
HAR 11-50 New Food Safety Rules

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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 5 years, 4 months ago.

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David, is it possible to have a commercial kitchen built on the same property as your home to prepare homemade goods for direct sale? If that is all done, you can sell as much as you want without restrictions correct?

    Yes it is usually possible (but expensive) to do that, and then you can sell without restrictions. Fortunately the restrictions have now been greatly loosened, so you can probably start your business without incurring the expense of a commercial kitchen.

Your information about the Temporary Food Establishment Permit is incorrect. The application clearly states that food can NOT be prepared in your house. It even requires the name of the certified kitchen where the food will be prepared.

    Bob, have you checked with your health dept about that? Apparently, they aren’t very strict about enforcing the “no homemade food” requirement. I added this info to this page when SB 379 was being debated, and the health dept cited the temporary permit as a method for selling homemade food and concluded that SB 379 was unnecessary. Perhaps their stance on the issue has changed, in which case, I’d certainly like to know.

    I did a little more research, and I confirmed that although it’s not officially listed anywhere, the common practice is to allow homemade food if it’s not potentially hazardous. Apparently, they are considering amending the rules to put this practice into writing.

i make hand dipped ice cream bars and frozen bananas what do i need to make them can i get a license for a kitchen at my home

Hi David! I read your previous posts about the temporary permit. I was to understand that you can fill out as many of the 20 day permits for each (different) location as you want during the 120 day period….is this not correct? Bill

    I really don’t know. I thought you couldn’t sell for more than 60 days a year total, but maybe it’s that you can only sell for 60 days at any given location. If you call the ag dept and learn more about this, I’d be interested to know what the ruling is.

    Aloha! I asked the Sanitation Department about this, and here is the response:

    “The TFE permit we issue is based on a specific location. So, yes, if you have 6 different locations, you will need to obtain 6 separate permits, and you are allowed to sell for only 20 days in any 120 day window at each specific location. If you have 6 permits you can sell for a maximum of 20 days X 6 = 120 days in a 120 day period, but you must be at 6 different locations.

    If you vend for 20 straight days at 591 Ala Moana Blvd from Jan 1st to the 20th, you will not be able to vend at 591 Ala Moana until May 1, as the 120 day window at that location extends from Jan 1 (The first day of your sale) until Apr 30. “

I would like to start selling my guacamole and salsa fresca, nothing is cooked, it is fresh (mostly if not all locally grown) ingredients. So basically I would be selling fresh produce which is diced, mashed and/or mixed with very few additives would it be a problem to do this in my own kitchen? Would I be able to sell it through retail establishments? Farmer’s markets?

So if there is no cottage laws in Hawaii, is it illegal to sell baked goods from your home in Hawaii? I’m not sure if it would be considered illegal since there are no laws.

    Technically it is possible to get a temporary permit from the health dept to sell homemade food, but the permit lasts 120 days and you can only sell in 20 of them. There are also limitations to where and what you can sell. It’s such a limited option that I’ve chosen not to list it on this page. So if you want to sell for more than 60 days per year, your home business would be illegal and you would need a commercial license.

    If you’re selling your items, then it’s a business, and these rules would apply to you. It is true that Sydney (below) has been trying to pass some cottage food bills, but she’s been running into a brick wall with the health dept. It’s looking like Hawaii won’t have a cottage food law for awhile.

Aloha,
My District Representative and I (co-owner of a local, organic jellies and jams business) are currently drafting a new version of the Hawaii Cottage Food Bill along with the Hawaii Representatives who introduced last year’s HB 100. We are not without some confidence that it will not only get a hearing in the upcoming legislative session, but that it may garner the support it needs to go forward.
We do, however, need all of the support we can get! Visit https://www.facebook.com/CottageLawHawaii for more information and, while you’re there, give us a like!

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