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Kentucky Can you legally sell food from home in Kentucky?

Cottage Food Law

For many years, only Kentucky farmers could sell homemade food, leaving it as one of the last states without a basic cottage food law. But that changed in 2018 when the law was amended (HB 263) to make it available to everyone.

With this law, home-based processors can make many types of non-perishable foods and sell them directly to consumers within the state. Indirect sales (through retail stores, restaurants, etc) and shipping products are not allowed.

Processors can sell up to $60,000 of products per year, and they must register with the health department for $50. No inspection or food safety training is needed.

Those who want to make higher-risk canned foods, like acidified foods and low-acid canned foods, can do so as a home-based microprocessor.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

The only types of syrups that are allowed are maple syrup and sweet sorghum syrup.

You cannot touch candy with your bare hands.

If you want to sell low-sugar, low-acid, or acidified canned foods (e.g. canned tomatoes, low-sugar jams, green beans, salsa, BBQ sauce, pickles, etc), and you grow the primary ingredient in them (e.g. you grow the tomatoes for canned tomatoes), you can become a home-based microprocessor.

Honey and whole eggs have their own exemptions, separate from this law. You can sell up to 150 gallons of honey per year, and you can sell up to 60 dozen eggs per week. For more information about labeling and special requirements, see the Farmers Market Manual.

You can sell homemade pet food in Kentucky, but you must register (and pay an annual fee) and follow special labeling 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?

Sales are limited to $60,000 per year

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product is home-produced and processed" (10-point type)

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, KY 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 3/23/2023

NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)

You can find more information about product labels in the labeling requirements guide.

Workplace Are there any home kitchen requirements?

Your home kitchen can have no more than two non-commercial ranges, ovens, or double-ovens, and no more than three refrigerators.

You can find workplace requirements in Section 3 of 902 KAR 45:090.

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
(502) 564-7181
275 E. Main St. HS1CF
Frankfort, KY 40621
For general inquires
Law Dates
June 2003
HB 391
July 2018
HB 263
March 2019
HB 468
September 2019
902 KAR 45:090

For many years, Kentucky’s cottage food law was only available to farmers. In 2016, Jennifer Lopez started a petition to try to change the law, which ultimately happened in 2018. She describes the process on Episode 16 of the Forrager Podcast.

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Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

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I’m confused…one list says ‘bread’ is ok, but the other list says ‘perishable baked goods’ are not. To me, bread is perishable. Are we allowed to sell breads that have been frozen?

Starting July 14, 2018 everyone will be allowed to be a home-based processor and bake non-potentially hazardous foods from their home kitchens in Kentucky. The law however, did not change for home-based microprocessors. The rules for microprocessors are still the same, and are restricted to farmer’s only. Check out my website that has all the updates and links to the new law. Thanks!

Keep an eye on Ky Cottage Laws…. Home Bakers have just walked through the House and are headed to the Senate! Very favourable outcome if (WHEN) this goes all the way!

    If you give the cake away and do not charge for it, that is legal. If you are selling raffle tickets, you may want to contact your local health department for clarification. My first thought would be no since there is money involved.

    Actually I don’t think it matters whether you charge for food or not. If you are providing food to the public, it is a potential food safety issue, regardless of whether it costs anything. Nonprofits do have an exemption that allows them to hold bake sales, but I do not think that selling chances to win would have been legal.

    Fortunately, though, Kentucky now allows you to sell your cakes without needing to get around the law!

As of today, there are people actively trying to change this restrictive, outdated law.

“ok so here goes from the meeting: He said for the August meeting we need to focus on the why more than the “specifics” of the proposed bill. We need to explain why there needs to be a change. Once we convince them that there is a need for the change then and only then do we worry about the specifics. So that being said he suggested we put together presentations for the meeting in August that shows our work and tells our story of why we need this. Please we need you to not remain silent. Please email/message me your stories of why you want this bill changed. I am going to put them all together and use them in the presentation. Send me pictures of your work, letters from your “clients” of why they are behind you on this. Tell them your story. The more people we have at the meeting in August the better it is for us. Help support us. The meeting will be in Graves County on August 29th. If you can attend to show support that is awesome but just as important we need your input so please step up and send me your stories the more the merrier. you can email them along with your pictures to

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