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Illinois has two different laws in place that allow the sale of homemade food. This page covers the older law, which is for “cottage food operations”. The newer law is for “home kitchen operations,” which you should use if you want to sell baked goods outside of farmers markets. Aside from being able to sell outside of farmers markets, the newer law is more restrictive than this older one.

This law only lets you sell cottage foods at a farmers market*, and you can sell up to $36,000 or products per year. The startup cost for your cottage food operation could be as low as $100, but it could be higher if your local health department has decided to charge fees for registration and an inspection. This law is also very specific about what types of food are allowed, but the most recent amendment allows the health department to approve more items.

In 2017, a new bill (HB 3063) passed which will improve this cottage food law in 2018 by allowing many more food items, and also by removing the sales limit. Products can still only be sold at farmers markets, though. You can read more about the changes here.

* Products with a locally-grown main ingredient can also be sold on the farm that grew the main ingredient, or delivered directly to the consumer.


At the point of sale, you must put up a prominent placard that says “This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens.” (this is in addition to placing that statement on product labels)

In addition to farmers markets, products that have a locally-grown main ingredient (such as strawberry jam with locally grown strawberries) can be sold on the farm that grew the main ingredient, or delivered directly to the consumer.

Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

The laws explicitly state which kinds of pies, jam, jelly, preserves, and fruit butters are allowed — please check the bill to see the full list.

The health department has the ability to approve other non-PHFs.

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


Sales are limited to $36,000 per year

If the $36,000 per year limit is not enough, you can try selling baked goods as a home kitchen operation to make an extra $1,000 per month.



You must register with the health department before selling cottage foods under this law, and usually there is no fee to do so. The department cannot charge more that $25 per year for registration.

Food Service Sanitation Management Certificate

You must take a class and receive a “Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification” from the health department, which takes about 8 hours to complete and costs at least $35.

By default, the only requirements for a cottage food operation are a no-fee registration and a certificate. However, an individual health department has the option to charge a fee (up to $25 per year) for registration and mandate a home inspection, which may also incur a fee.

If you are only making baked goods, you can bypass the above requirements by trying to become a home kitchen operation.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens."

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, IL 73531

Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)

Contains: milk, eggs, wheat, soy

Produced on 8/19/2019


In addition to (or instead of) your home kitchen, you can use another residential or commercial kitchen on your property.


Law Dates
January 2012
SB 0840
June 2014
HB 5354
June 2014
HB 5657
January 2016
HB 2486

This page was last updated on

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Was wondering the conditions and what permits would be needed to sell dried peppers food products (very hot to very mild) in the state of Illinois through e-commerce

It’s been very difficult to find the following info for my business: Do I need any special permits/licenses to roast/sell/package/distribute my coffee beans…we don’t add anything; just roast and sell.

Our local health department stated that a fresh produce vendor (non-cottage foods) is required to display at their table the exact address of where their produce is grown. I just want to make sure that this is correct (the person has been wrong on more than 1 occasion with their information). If the vendor is required to display their address, is it part of the food cottage law or the food modernization act? Thanks!

What are the laws regarding preserves and jellies that are processed in a home kitchen to sell, in Kankakee County IL?

I just spoke with my county board of health, St Clair County, and was told I have to get the ordinance passed at my town. This seems contradictory to the way the law is stated. Are they wrong do I need to provide them with a copy of the law.

Where does fudge land in these laws? I haven’t found anything that really applies. I have a friend who makes fudge to sell at craft shows and farmers markets but would like to expand to some local stores and possibly on-line/mail order.

    The cottage food and home kitchen foods do not permit online and mail order sales. The permit direct sales. She should look into commercial licenses or email the state health department asking what she needs.

I would like to start delivering homemade baby food to local moms made from my kitchen at home. Everything from purees to veggie patties. Do I need to make these in a commercial kitchen?

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