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Illinois Home Kitchen Operation Can you legally sell food from home in Illinois?

Cottage Food Law

In 2014, Illinois passed an amendment to their previous “cottage food operations” law, which allows “home kitchen operations” (PA 098-0643 aka HB 5354). This specialized law is only for bakers, and unfortunately, it is not available in many counties across the state.

Before anyone can use this law, their county must create an ordinance to allow it, but ordinances can take awhile to get initiated and passed. This requirement also makes it easy for counties to prevent the law from taking effect in their area. Many health departments have little or no incentive to take the effort to make this law available in their area, so many people cannot use it.

If a county does allow home kitchen operations, then all non-perishable baked goods can be made at home and sold directly to customers, either from home or elsewhere. Unlike any other cottage food law, sales are limited to $1,000 per month (rather than on a yearly basis). No registration or permit from the health dept is required, but other local permits may still be required.

Illinois has another law for “cottage food operations“, which allows many more types of products to be sold at farmers markets. It’s technically possible to use both laws simultaneously.

This law was started in direct response to 11-year-old Chloe Stirling getting shut down. In this way, it is similar to California’s law, which also got started after someone got shut down by the health dept. It only took a few months to pass this law, whereas it took about two years to pass California’s. However, this amendment to Illinois’ law is far more limiting than California’s.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

Your products may only be sold in counties that have an ordinance allowing home kitchen operations. It would be better to use the other law for your farmers market sales. That way, this law’s $1,000 per month sales limit would only apply to your sales elsewhere.

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How To Start A Cottage Food Business

Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

Only high-acid fruit pies that use the following fruits are allowed: apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, orange, nectarine, tangerine, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, red currants, or a combination of these fruits.

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?

Sales are limited to $1,000 per month

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This product was produced in a home kitchen

Contains: milk, eggs, wheat, soy

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Public Health
Law Dates
June 2014
HB 5354
January 2016
HB 2486
January 2018
HB 3063

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Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

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I am currently a resident in McLean County and am wanting to sell homemade elderberry syrup and aronia berry syrups. What steps would I need to take to legally do this? I would advertise on social media sites and then have direct contact with the buyer.

Id like to start selling covered apples out of my house. Farmers markets won’t be happening this year so it’ll just be out of the house. Do i need any kind of licensing to do this legally in Illinois?? Would basically be sellibg to Facebook friends for the time being.

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