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

Cottage Food Law

New Mexico’s cottage food requirements are the most complicated of any state. Although they place no limit on the amount of product the processor can sell, and they allow processors to sell a fair number of goods, the application process is not much easier than what a regular food processor would need to go through. However, the fees are lower, which are a minimum of $100 annually.

When applying, a processor must submit a plan review that is very extensive and details every part and process of their operation. There are some unusual requirements that are not found in any other state, like requiring that a sample of the product be kept for 14 days after production. In addition to the application, the processor must also take a free training course and get their home inspected. Fortunately, New Mexico has some of the most complete online resources for the laws and the application process.

Albuquerque residents cannot use the cottage food law. Although some residents in Bernalillo County cannot use this law, they can use a similar law.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

A copy of the permit for the home-based processing operation must be displayed at all times where the product is being sold.

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Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

Dry mixes must be made from commercially processed ingredients only.

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?

Limitations
There is no sales limit

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

Permit

First, the processor must apply for a permit, which costs $100 annually and is fairly simple to fill out.

They also must submit a “Plan Review Application“, which is much more complicated and requires a number of items:

  • List of every product the operation will produce.
  • List of all the ingredients used and their sources.
  • Complete procedure of how foods or ingredients will be cooled or heated before and/or during preparation.
  • Procedure for how kitchen will be kept clean and sanitized.
  • List of when and where products will be sold.
  • Procedure for how products will be transported and preserved after preparation is complete.
  • Proof that the water supply and/or sewer system meets regulations (could require extra fees).
  • Information about equipment and facilities.
  • Procedure for how goods will be stored.
  • A map of the location, including entrances/exits, prep rooms, construction materials, etc.
  • List of the operation plan (name, ingredients, packaging, procedures, etc.) for each product. (If the product need to be tested, that would require extra fees.)
  • Proof of training.

For more complete information on applying, read “Guidance for Home-Based Food Processing Operations“.

Training

Training is free of charge, but it must be completed before applying. Training must be renewed every five years.

Home inspection

Once the application is submitted, the health authority will conduct an inspection of the operation before approving the permit.

Private well testing

If the processor uses a private water system, they must get it tested before their application can be approved.

Private sewer inspection

If the processor uses a private sewage system, they must get their septic tank inspected before their application can be approved.

Overall, the process can be completed for just $100, but if the processor needs their water supply, sewage system, or products tested, the fees could run into many hundreds of dollars.

If a processor’s operation or plans change, they must submit those changes to the health authority.

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Home Produced" (12-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, NM 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)


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


If the label is written in a language other than English, the statement above must also be translated into that language.

Workplace Are there any home kitchen requirements?

For each batch of product made, the operation must keep a sample from it for 14 days after it was produced, and it must be labeled with the date and time.

If there is no dishwasher, the sink must have at least two compartments. In addition, there must be a sink solely dedicated to handwashing (cannot be a bathroom sink).

Products for the operation must be kept in a separate storage area than those intended for personal use.

Non-employees must be kept out of the food preparation area during production.

Other workplace requirements are specified in a few sections of New Mexico’s Food Processing Regulations: 7.6.2.16(B, C7, & C9), 7.6.2.9, 7.6.2.10, and 7.6.2.12, except for the sections listed in 7.6.2.16(C1).  If 7.6.2.9(F4 or G) is a problem, see 7.6.2.16(C11 & C12).

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

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Comments

Did you know that New Mexico has one of the most burdensome and complicated applications in the country to sell cottage foods? The New Mexico Legislature is considering HB 177, which would fix that and make it easier to sell cottage food. HB 177 would also help prevent cities from banning the sale of homemade goods, like Albuquerque currently does. Please email me if you think this bill may help you! My name is Erica Smith and I am an attorney at the Institute for Justice. esmith@ij.org

I was wondering if taking online school for culinary arts would be close to the same as the training that is required

Hi There,
Based on what I have read, homemade pickles are not allowed to be sold under NM cottage law right?
What if my business/manufacture/ process is not in my home kitchen, but on the same property but in a separate facility? Can I still sell at farmers’ market and roadside stand? Is it still considered home base business or not?
Best regards,
Rosi

Just FYI…I am getting my kitchen certified and there are a couple of new things since 3/1/2016. #1 – if you do not have a hand washing sink, but you do have a double sided sink and a dishwasher, you can simply put a barrier between the 2 sides of the sink and dedicate 1 for produce washing and 1 for hand washing. I got that from the district supervisor from NMED. Also, the training is no longer free. You get the training you need through online classes that you pay for.

    Hello! Did you know that New Mexico has one of the most burdensome and complicated applications in the country to sell cottage foods? The New Mexico Legislature is considering HB 177, which would fix that and make it easier to sell cottage food. HB 177 would also help prevent cities from banning the sale of homemade goods, like Albuquerque currently does. Please email me if you think this bill may help you! My name is Erica Smith and I am an attorney at the Institute for Justice. esmith@ij.org

    Hello! Did you know that New Mexico has one of the most burdensome and complicated applications in the country to sell cottage foods? The New Mexico Legislature is considering HB 177, which would fix that and make it easier to sell cottage food. HB 177 would also help prevent cities from banning the sale of homemade goods, like Albuquerque currently does. Please email me if you think this bill may help you! My name is Erica Smith and I am an attorney at the Institute for Justice. esmith@ij.org

FYI, your “similar law” link in the third paragraph is a broken link. Thanks for the great information though. You’ve really put a lot of work into this website!

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