Since this page was last updated, Boston created an ordinance to allow residential kitchens, so now Boston residents can use the cottage food law.
Massachusetts developed its law for “residential kitchens” in 2000, well before cottage food laws became common. Residential kitchens are considered “food establishments” (like their commercial counterparts), so it is harder to start a home food business in MA than it is in other states. However, there are fewer restrictions: there is no sales limit, and owners of residential kitchens can sell at any venue within the state.
Like most cottage food laws, the allowed foods are limited to non-perishable items, but most non-PHFs are allowed. Before getting started, a residential kitchen needs to get inspected and permitted by a local board of health, and some regions may require food safety training as well. Only members of the residential kitchen’s household can help with food preparation.
Only members of the household may help with preparation of the food.
You must apply for a permit from your local board of health. While the fees vary from one region to another, an annual permit is typically around $50 – $100.
If you have to take a food safety course, you’ll also likely need to complete a $10 allergen training course.
If your water comes from a private source, it must get tested, which would incur extra fees.
If you use a private sewage system, it must get inspected, which would incur extra fees.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, MA 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
NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)
The kitchen must have a separate storage location for products related to the business.
There are actually a lot more rules pertaining to the kitchen environment, which are explained on page 3587 of the bill.
- Department of Public Health
- 305 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Food Protection Program
- October 2000
- 105 CMR 590