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Iowa Can you legally sell food from home in Iowa?

Cottage Food Law

Iowa has two different laws for home cooks, both of which predate most modern cottage food laws. Iowa has been allowing sales of homemade food since at least the 1980s.

First, Iowa has an exemption that allows producers can sell most types of non-perishable food products from home and at farmers markets, without needing any license or permit from the Department of Inspections & Appeals. There are no sales limitations, and the labeling requirements are very basic.

Iowa also has a law specifically for home bakeries, which allows bakers to sell most types of baked goods (including most perishable baked goods) at any venue.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

You can sell baked goods at more venues by becoming a Home Bakery.

Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

You can sell any kind of non-perishable food, except for some kinds of canned foods, cured foods (meat jerkies), fermented foods, and juices.

You can sell perishable baked goods by getting licensed as a Home Bakery.

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?

There is no sales limit

Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?

You do not need to get any license or inspection from the Department of Inspections & Appeals.

Certain types of products are exempt from sales tax.

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, IA 73531

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Inspections and Appeals
Department of Inspections and Appeals
Lucas State Office Building, Third Floor
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0083
Law Dates
July 1988
SF 356
January 1999
HF 2166
August 2000
ARC 9996A
July 2001
SF 62
May 2002
HF 2620
January 2019
SF 2390

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Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

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Are wedding mints, commonly known as cream cheese mints, allowed to be sold at the Farmers Market? They do not require refrigeration. Under the cottage food law in Minnesota I know that they are. But I do not know if they are or are not in Iowa. Please let me know. Sincerely Debra Nightingale

Hi, can I make and sell Hot Pepper Jelly here in Iowa? I am interested in making it from my home, but the information stated that low acid/sugar jellies may not be permitted.
Thank you!

What are the requirements for selling home boiled maple syrup out of my home ?? Can I legally sell it without any license ?

Why are roadside market is not allowable under the cottage.? The farmers market’s will be finished but I will have wonderful produce well after the season to be sold and now I have no venue to sell it… Are there alternatives?

I want to sell federally inspected beef that I raise by the frozen package, out of my home how can I find out what the minimum requirements are for the facility to get inspected? Want to start with just freezer space basically, no processing of raw will be done.

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