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Indiana Can you legally sell food from home in Indiana?

Cottage Food Law

LAW UPDATE

In 2021, Indiana passed a new bill (SB 185) that may improve their cottage food law in 2022.

This bill creates a working group which is tasked with determining recommendations for cottage food businesses. Most likely, the group’s findings will be used to try to pass a bill in 2022 to improve the law.

To learn more, and to help, please see this Facebook group.

Indiana’s laws are very restrictive in they only allow sales at farmers markets and roadside stands.

Aside from that, however, the laws are quite lenient.  Home based vendors can sell any types of nonperishable foods, and there is no limit for how much they can sell. Also, there is no registration, fees, or process to get setup.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

You may take pre-orders (over the internet, for instance), but customers must pick up their products from your farmers market booth or roadside stand.

Starting a cottage food business?

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Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

You can only sell fermented produce, if it is not stored in an oxygen-sealed container.

If you can to sell honey, see this document.

You can sell whole chickens or rabbits that you raised, if you meet certain requirements.

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?

Limitations
There is no sales limit

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product is home produced and processed and the production area has not been inspected by the State Department of Health." (10-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, IN 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)


Produced on 12/2/2021


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


In addition to net weight, the label must also include the volume of the product.

If a labeling a product isn’t practical (e.g. the product isn’t packaged), you may place a placard with the same information up at the point of sale.

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Department
Health
Contacts

Lisa Harrison

Job Title
Training Specialist
Organization
Food Protection Program
Department
Indiana State Department of Health
Email
lharriso@isdh.in.gov
Telephone
317-234-8569
Address
100 N. Senate Ave. Room N855
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Law Dates
July 2009
HB 1309
July 2021
SB 185

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Starting a cottage food business?

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Indiana Forum Got questions? Join the discussion

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Comments

I have been baking cheesecakes for many years. I want to look at selling to the public. Can this be done at a farmers market in Indiana.

So the way I’m understanding is that like baking pies for the holidays and selling them out of your home is illegal whether they pick them up or you deliver? My second question… If I was to get a building on my property solely for the use of cooking and selling, if I got all the right permits and licenses, that is legal? I’m just trying to clarify what is allowed before I go make a big investment in my business plan. Thank you in advance!!!

    It is only possible to sell homemade food at a farmers market or roadside stand. Otherwise, it is illegal. It should be possible to build a commercial kitchen on your property, but that is very expensive and I’d recommend that you extensively validate your business plan before investing in that. Try finding a commercial kitchen to rent, or start by selling your product at a farmers market. http://forrager.com/faq/#commercial-kitchen

Could I have clarification on the online aspect? So you can take orders online but in the state of Indiana the order would have to be picked up AT the Farmers Market or Roadside stand, NOT in person at any other location? (Guessing that would be “commissioning” instead?)

    Correct, and it’s mostly just a technicality. It’s unlikely that many or any CFOs would sell online and fulfill orders at a farmers market, though it’s technically possible.

I am trying to find out what foods/drinks can be sold in stores without any type of a food license. I have been told pre-packaged, but I want to get more info/opinions.

in regards to hot pepper jelly. what is the reason that can’t be sold at a farmers market?? also if I’m selling my jellies/jams and fruit butters directly to people with no in between person or stand/farmers market is this allowed without a permit??

    Selling homemade food outside of a stand/farmers market is not allowed.

    The category of “jams/jellies” on this site does not automatically include pepper jellies because some states specifically disallow those (they can be a more risky item). However, in Indiana, you should be able to sell a pepper jelly if its pH is 4.6 or less.

Does the “roadside stand” need to belong to the home baker? Or could a home baker strike a deal with someone running a successful roadside stand and sell their baked goods at said stand?

A farmer market or road side stand makes me think of open air spots used only during warm weather. Can a farmer market be defined as a point of sale within a building that would provide 12 month sales of allowed items? Can a roadside stand offer any protection from the elements to the buyer and seller or must it be only open air? Finally, as a General Ministry fund booster, my church is considering the sale of “Monster” size cookies to our members on Sundays only. The church provides all ingredients. Before we can evaluate sales or hear responses from our members, the cookies would be made by a few volunteers at their homes following guides for uniform size. Although the kitchen size of our church is somewhat limited, we would have to organize a crew for preparation in the future if we our effort is successful. Each cookie would be wrapped at the baking site and could be uniformly labeled. Sale prices would be per individual cookie rather than a “free will offering”. If this plan works, should the cookies be labeled as “homebaked” regardless of bake site? What are your thoughts? Thank you

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