Idaho Can you legally sell food from home in Idaho?
Cottage Food Law
Idaho has allowed for the sale of low-risk homemade foods for years, but is just now codifying their practices into state rules. The new proposed rules were passed in January 2016, and they should become effective by April 2016. However, it is currently possible to directly sell cottage foods, and the below information describes current practices.
Because Idaho had no law to legalize these home food businesses, a couple cottage food bills were introduced in 2015. The first bill (H106) simply tried to codify the current practice of the health districts, allowing direct sales of low-risk foods. The presence of H106 got the attention of the Northwest Food Processors Association, and they helped create a second bill (H187), which replaced the old one and added a number of restrictions, like registration and a sales limit. Both bills ultimately failed due to conflicting interests, which was a good thing: if H187 had passed, it likely would have made it harder to start a cottage food business in Idaho.
In the summer of 2015, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare held discussions around the state to discuss the status of cottage foods, which ultimately influenced the proposed rules, which imposed minimal regulations. As Patrick Guzzle, the Food Protection Program Manager at IDHW summarized, “We pretty consistently heard from cottage food producers that there needed to be some better definitions, but not regulations around it”.
Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?
Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?
Except for acidified foods, any non-potentially hazardous food is allowed. Some types of items, like fruit butters, apple sauce, pepper jams, etc. may be allowed, depending on the recipe. You should contact your health district to get approval for products you’re unsure about.
Limitations How will your home food business be restricted?
Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?
Although not required, the health department recommends that all cottage food operations fill out a food risk assessment form, both to confirm that your products are approved, and also to make it easier for you to get accepted into some types of sales venues. Markets and events may require the form.
The health department does not require any form of training, but recommends taking a basic food handlers course online to ensure food safety. Courses (such as the ServSafe course) usually take a few hours and cost around $15.
Some types of products, like fruit butters, may be allowed, depending on their recipe. You can submit the product to a private laboratory for testing to ensure that the recipe is safe to use.
If you use a private water supply, the health department recommends that you get it tested every three months.
Labeling How do you label cottage food products?
The health department currently recommends adding labels to your products. Labels will soon be required once the new Idaho Food Code gets finalized, which will require labels to include an allergen warning and a statement that the product was produced in a home kitchen.
Resources Where can you find more information about this law?
- Job Title
- Food Protection Program Manager
- Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
- (208) 334-4994
- Ed is familiar with the overall state of the home food industry in Idaho, but to learn more about how to sell homemade food, you should contact your health district.
I have been selling dried herbs for a number of years out of my home. I see that it is perfectly legal to do so under the Cottage Food Law. My question is, can I rent space at a local retail store and directly make those sales from the room I am renting? This is to provide easy access to the herbs I am selling without traffic to and from my home. This place is going to be registered with an Assumed Buisness Name.
With that question asked, this leads me to my next question. My herbs have all been grown or foraged. I have included all botanical names an educational descriptions of each. Can I purchase herbs from a wholesale location and turn around and sell in my private shop to consumers? Thank you in advance.
I was hoping to get this updated for Idaho. I have just started a farmers market in Arco Idaho and I have vendors asking for some help with getting properly licensed/permitted. The market itself is unofficially federally non-profit but per state I believe we are officially non-profit and would also like to better understand what the market can do for food items as a fund raiser one day a week…
Hey DINA. I run the Idaho Falls Farmers Market and you are welcome to find us on Facebook if you still have questions. We are part of some really awesome groups where you can also ask questions that I can show you!
What if i wanted to sell chili, soups, and sauces? Would these be allowed under the cottage food act? I am a chef in Idaho and would like to start a venture into selling these canned goods. Any tips?