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New Hampshire Can you legally sell food from home in New Hampshire?

Cottage Food Law

New Hampshire essentially has a two-tier system. For those wishing to sell low quantities of product at farmers markets and from home, there is very little process to get setup, and the details are listed below. For operators wanting to sell more product at any venue, they must apply for a Homestead License, which is much more complicated.

For non-licensed “homestead food operations”, sales are limited to $20,000 of goods per year. A fair number of foods are allowed to be produced from a home kitchen, but sales may only be made at farmers markets, from the operation’s home, or at a farm stand that the operation owns. Fortunately, since there is no license required from the health department, many operators can get started relatively easily, and then acquire a license when their business grows.

Unlike most states, New Hampshire allows sales from cottage food operations in other states if they register. However, many states do not allow their CFOs to engage in interstate sales.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

In addition to selling at home or a farmers market, an operation can sell at their own farm stand.

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Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

Jams and jellies are allowed, but if you are using a recipe that has not been approved by the National Center for Home Food Preservation, then your recipe needs to be tested by a food processing authority.

Fruit butters (except for pumpkin butter) are allowed, but they need to be tested by a food processing authority.

Any item that uses homemade honey or maple syrup is not allowed under this law.

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 $20,000 per year

Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?

Although you do not need a license or kitchen inspection from the health department, there may be other local requirements for your business, such as a business license.

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product is exempt from New Hampshire licensing and inspection." (10-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, NH 73531


Phone: (123) 456-7890


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


A PO box may not be used as the address for the operation.

Workplace Are there any home kitchen requirements?

There are many kitchen requirements listed in these FAQs.

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Contacts
Email
foodprotection@dhhs.state.nh.us
Telephone
603-271-4589
Law Dates
January 2007
HB 1683
June 2012
HB 1402
September 2014
HB 1138

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New Hampshire Forum Got questions? Join the discussion

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This forum contains 6 topics and 5 replies, and was last updated by  Melanie Anne Cramer 3 years, 9 months ago.

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Comments

we are trying to find out what type of license that is needed to make and sell pickles either at a framers market or a farm stand

i want to sell my whiskey cakes at farmers markets in NH. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup whiskey and walnuts…are these allowed?
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    It’s not considered a non-PHF, but some states specifically allow coffee and tea to be sold without special licensing. You should call the health dept to see if there is an exemption.

    The product has to be non hazardous. Whip cream needs to be refrigerated. You would have to be licensed to sell your whip cream cake… so you would not be allowed to make your product at home and sell it from home without being approved first by the state…. ex: (fruit pies are allowed because they do not need refrigeration but all cream pies are not allowed.) Hope this helps. Good Luck!

    You may be able to use a non-dairy whipped topping… the main thing is that it has to be non-perishable when left unrefrigerated. You should contact the health dept to determine what they will allow.

I think NH passed an expansion in 2014 that increased the limit for unlicensed sales to $20,000/yr. The code is here http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/X/143-A/143-A-mrg.htm (ctrl-f to homestead food license) and the bill is here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1138.html.
They also passed a law in 2012 (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/HB1402.html) exempting producers of raw milk from producer-distributor licensing if they produce/process fewer than 20 gallons daily, but I don’t know if raw milk is considered a “cottage food.” Code: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xiv/184/184-84.htm

    Thanks so much for the update! I’ve now included that info on this page. Raw milk isn’t really considered a cottage food product, and this site doesn’t yet include the laws about it.

We grow potatoes and fall vegetables on a farm in Mass. Our daughter owns land on the Mass / New Hampshire line, we would like to set up a farm stand on the NH side of the property. What do we need to do to start selling our produce are there any special requirements needed?

    Requirements to sell produce don’t fall under the cottage food laws, but I know they’re not very restrictive. You’ll need to call your ag dept for specifics.

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