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Nebraska

Nebraska passed a bill (LB 304) in 2019 which greatly expanded their cottage food law. Before that, homemade food could only be sold at farmers markets.

Producers can sell any type of non-perishable food at farmers markets, public events, from home, and online. For sales outside of farmers markets, producers must complete a food safety course, as well as online registration.

This law does not allow indirect sales (wholesale, retail stores, etc), but there is no sales limit and it is very easy and inexpensive to start using the law.

Selling

At all venues (including your website or other advertising venues), you must visibly notify the customer that your products were prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to regulation and inspection by the regulatory authority, and that the food may contain allergens.

Starting a cottage food business?

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Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

The law allows any non-potentially hazardous food, but the ag department has not specified whether some riskier non-PHFs, like acidified foods, are allowed.

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

Limitations
There is no sales limit

Business

Food safety training

If you sell at venues other than a farmers market, you must take an accredited food safety course, which can be completed online in a few hours and usually costs about $15.

Registration

If you sell at venues other than a farmers market, you must register your business. Registration is free and can be completed online in a few minutes. You must provide:

  • Your contact information
  • Food safety course name & completion date
  • If applicable, private well testing date
Private well testing

If you have a private well, you must get your water tested for nitrates and bacteria.

Labeling

Sample Label

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, NE 73531

At all venues (including your website or other advertising venues), you must visibly notify the customer that your products were prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to regulation and inspection by the regulatory authority, and that the food may contain allergens.

Although the law only requires you to put your name and address on labels, farmers markets may have more requirements, such as product name, net weight, and ingredient list.

Resources

Contacts
Department
Department of Agriculture
Telephone
402-471-3422
Law Dates
April 2003
LB 250
September 2019
LB 304

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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

    With the new law, yes, you can now do that! You probably wouldn’t be able to keep your garage open as a storefront (due to zoning laws), but you could make sales elsewhere (like online) and have people pick the items up at your garage.

    It does not, but we are currently working to change that. My name is Erica Smith and I work at the nonprofit, the Institute for Justice. Last year, we expanded cottage food law in five different states, and this year we are focusing on Nebraska. A bill will be introduced to expand where sales can occur. If you are interested in knowing more or getting involved, please email me at [email protected]!

I do have a grocery store could I make salsas or veggies and fruit juices for sale at my store? Do I need special permit for that?

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