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Maryland On-Farm Home Processing

This state's cottage food law is restricted, so it is not available to everyone!

Maryland allows farmers to get a special On-Farm Home Processing License to sell certain types of homemade food.

However, most people use Maryland’s cottage food law (which does not require a permit or training from the health department) to sell their homemade food.

This older law is useful for farmers who:

  • Want to sell food products that the cottage food law does not allow (pickles, dried fruit, flavored honey, etc)
  • Want to sell indirectly to restaurants or retail stores
  • Want to sell their products in other states
  • Have reached the cottage food law’s $25,000 sales limit

If none of the above applies to you, then it should be easier to start your business with the cottage food law.

With an On-Farm Home Processing License, farmers can sell certain types of non-perishable foods (including acidified foods) through any venue, but they are limited to $40,000 of sales. Farmers who sell acidified foods must take a training course from a Better Process School.

Selling

See a directory of farmers markets on this interactive map.

Allowed Foods

You can use this law to sell herb-infused honey and vinegars.

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

Sales are limited to $40,000 per year

Business

On-Farm Home Processing License

An On-Farm Home Processing License costs $30. To apply for a license, contact the health department.

If you are only selling baked goods, naturally acid canned foods (jams, jellies, fruit butters, some canned fruits, etc), and unflavored honey from your farm or at a farmers market, you do not need to get this license. However, if you are selling acid foods, you may need to get an evaluation from the health department. All indirect sales (to restaurants and retail stores) require this license.

Better Process School Training Course

If you make canned acidified foods (e.g. pickles, green beans, etc), you must take a training course from a Better Process School. To find an approved course, contact the health department.

Workplace

Ingredients and products for your business must be kept separate from those for personal use.

Resources

Contacts
Department
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Email
[email protected]
Telephone
(410) 767-8400
Fax
(410) 333-8931
Address
6 St. Paul Street, Suite 1301
Baltimore, MD 21202
Law Dates
February 2005
On-Farm Food Processing
June 2006
SB 1049

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