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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 want to start selling frozen chicken egg rolls. What must I do to start this business and what do I need to look out for? I want to start a website or use social media to promote the product.

I am getting ready to get set up at a booth at our Farmer’s Market. I know that as a Home Based Vendor, I am not allowed to hand out samples, as the product has to be packaged. I am interested in packaging the cookies and hand them out as samples so they would be packaged. I am starting with three types of cookies and would include one of each in the bag and then pass those out when I am at the market. Would that work since they are actually packaged?

    If it is commercially-bottled water, you should be able to resell it with some kind of permit. I don’t think it’s very hard to do, and you either need to talk to the health or ag dept. You cannot bottle water yourself and then sell it.

Can I sell potatoes from my yard? I live in the outskirts of laporte 5 miles from new buffalo michigan border

So as I understand it I living in Indiana can sell online but can’t sell out of state unless it is picked up? Why?

    Online sales likely wouldn’t be of much use to someone using this law, since all orders need to be fulfilled in-person at a farmers market or roadside stand. I’m not sure the exact reason why they chose to make the law in this way, but usually cottage food laws introduce limitations like face-to-face interactions so that there is more accountability between the buyer and seller. Food businesses that want to sell to unknown buyers need to produce their product in a commercial kitchen.

    It comes from the part of the law that requires that the food “is made by an individual in the individual’s primary residence”.

    As you can see, this law is limited in many ways: it specifically states where you can produce, what you can sell, and where you can sell. It is only intended for people using their home kitchen, since there are already laws for people who use commercial kitchens. There are a few states that allow CFOs to use commercial kitchens, but it’s uncommon. Often the home kitchen itself is considered to be one of the limitations of the cottage food law, so that someone will naturally need to get a commercial license sooner as their business gets too big for their home.

Why are you more concerned about a dogs life than a humans? Also you don’t allow to sell dog treats but from what I understand China killed several dogs with theirs. How is that, I bet you can still find dog food from China in stores.

    For one, I haven’t confirmed that pet food is not allowed in Indiana. But you’re correct… usually it’s not included in a cottage food law.

    I know it seems strange, and the truth is that many of the health laws are strange. The reason why pet foods are kept separate from human foods has nothing to do with being more concerned about dogs… if anything, it’s the opposite. Pet food and animal feed are usually handled by the ag dept, whereas human food is handled by the health dept. Since cottage food laws are often overseen and enforced by the health dept, they don’t have the ability to include and approve pet food. There would literally need to be a separate cottage food law in the ag dept’s section of Indiana’s laws, to specifically allow pet food from home.

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