Unlike most states, Iowa allows home bakers to sell perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes, cream pies, and cakes with cream fillings. “Home Food Establishments” can sell their baked goods at any venue, but they are limited to $20,000 of sales per year. An annual license and inspection are required.
In addition to this law, Iowa has a cottage food law that allows home cooks to sell almost any kind of non-perishable food without special licensing, but products can only be sold from home or at farmers markets.
A new bill (HF 344 & SF 265) has been introduced in 2015 to amend the home food establishment law. The bill changes some wording without changing much meaning in the bill (like rewording “home food establishment” to “home bakery”). The only significant change is that it would the annual license fee to $50.
To sell at a farmers market, you must get a Farmers Market Potentially Hazardous Food License, which costs $100.
Although this law only allows potentially hazardous baked goods (cannot contain meat), other baked goods can be sold using this law, which would allow you to sell non-potentially hazardous baked goods at all venues. To produce other non-PHFs, you can use Iowa’s cottage food law, which only allows sales from home and at farmers markets.
Pets are never allowed in your kitchen or in any room where food for your business is stored.
Sales must be recorded, and the record must be made available if the Department of Inspections and Appeals requests it.
A Home Food Establishment License from the Department of Inspections and Appeals is required, and it costs $33.75 each year.
A home food establishment must get their kitchen inspected before starting their business. Inspections should happen at least once per year.
If you do not use a public water system, your private well must be tested annually. You must maintain a record of your water tests.
Some products require the collection of sales tax, while others are exempt. Check out Iowa’s list of taxable and exempt products to learn more.
If you want to sell at a farmers market, you must get a Farmers Market Potentially Hazardous Food License in each county where you will sell, which costs $100.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, IA 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)
NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)
There are many workplace requirements in the law.