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Kentucky

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 at local venues, or online. With no sales limit, registration, permit, or required training, it is very easy for residents to use this law to sell their homemade food.

Those who want to make higher-risk canned foods, like acidified foods and low-sugar jams, can still do so as a home-based microprocessor under the original law.

As of 2019, the state is still working on regulations to clarify some aspects about this law, like which foods are specifically allowed. The new regulations should eventually be provided on this FCS Extension page. You can also look for updates on the website and Facebook page of Kentucky Home Bakers — both resources that were started by the pioneer of this bill (Jennifer Lopez).

Selling

Starting a cottage food business?

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Allowed Foods

You can produce standard fruit jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butters. 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.

For more information about allowed foods, see the table on page 76 of the Farmers Market Manual.

You can sell up to 60 dozen eggs per week. For more information about labeling and special requirements, see pages 77 – 85 of the Farmers Market Manual.

You can sell up to 150 gallons of honey per year. For more information about labeling and special requirements, see pages 86 – 88 of 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. For more information, see page 93 of the Farmers Market Manual.

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

There is no sales limit

Business

Private Water Source Testing

If you use a private water source, you must get it tested and approved. You can find more information on page 73 of the Farmers Market Manual.

Labeling

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)


Produced on 10/14/2019


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


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

Workplace

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

The local health department is able to inspect your kitchen annually, but they are not required to do so.

Resources

Contacts
Department
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Telephone
(502) 564-7181
About
For general inquires
Law Dates
June 2003
HB 391
July 2018
HB 263

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Starting a cottage food business?

DOWNLOAD THIS FREE GUIDE

Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Cottage Food Business

(Some of them just might surprise you!)

Comments

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 KentuckyHomeBakers.com 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.

https://www.facebook.com/KentuckyCottageFood/

“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 [email protected]

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