Rhode Island Farm Home Food Manufacture Can you legally sell food from home in Rhode Island?
Cottage Food Law
This law is for farmers that sell over $2,500 of agricultural products per year. Non-farmers must use the Cottage Food Manufacture law, and farmers can use both laws. For 20 years (until 2022), this was Rhode Island’s only cottage food law.
Under this law, farmers can sell many types of nonperishable products, and there is no sales limit. Fruits and vegetables used in products must be locally grown.
Farmers can only sell these products at ag-related venues, including farmers markets, farm stands, and other events and stores that are operated by farmers.
Before selling, farmers must register as a “farm home food manufacturer”, which costs $65 per year.
Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?
The only farmers markets, events, and retail stores that are allowed are ones that are “operated by farmers for the purpose of the retail sale of the products of Rhode Island farms”.
Roadside stands must be located on a farm.
Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?
Any fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you use must be locally grown.
If you sell maple syrup, the sap must be sourced from trees that are within a 20 mile radius of your farm.
Limitations How will your home food business be restricted?
Your pets must ALWAYS be kept out of your kitchen and other food prep areas (even when not preparing food).
Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?
Before you can sell your food products, you must register with the health department, which costs $65 per year. You can only register if you sell at least $2,500 of agricultural products every year
To complete your registration, you must:
- Fill out the application form
- Sign and notarize the affidavit of compliance
- Get a letter from the Division of Taxation certifying your exemption from taxes
- Get a letter from a building official stating that your kitchen meets minimum housing standards
- If applicable, get test results from a water test of your well
- Create a list of every food product you will sell
- Create a sketch of your home on your property and, if applicable, the location of your well and septic system
- Verify your SSN or EIN
- Pay the $65 fee
Your kitchen must be inspected by a building official to confirm that it meets minimum housing standards.
If the home is on private water supply, the water supply must be tested once per year.
Labeling How do you label cottage food products?
Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, RI 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)
Workplace Are there any home kitchen requirements?
You must have all of your recipes (with ingredients, quantities, processing times, & procedures) available in your kitchen for review by an inspector.
You must either have a 2-compartment sink or a dishwasher with a sanitizing function that reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are many other workplace requirements that you can find in Section 21-27-6.1(1 & 2) of the law.
Resources Where can you find more information about this law?
- Rhode Island Department of Health
- (401) 222-2749
Center for Food Protection
- September 2002
- RI General Laws 21-27-6.1
Hi I extract milk from coconuts in my home and I wanted to sell coconut milk, coconut oil, and coconut flour, at a farmers market, how could I go about that? If I can?
Hi David nice to be on your site. I live in Rhode island. I am a former chef and personal chef. I love cooking and backing. I’m not interested in selling the food I make or bake but would like to give it away to those who are hungry. I’ve been a volunteer in soup kitchens, homeless shelters and prison chaplaincy. How can I go about this? And/ or how would I go about selling or giving for charities/fundraising? I would like nothing more than make food in my home kitchen and give it away like I said. Can you help me with this?
I recently was visiting Newport RI and went to a small gym where they sold home made jelly. I got home and found a hair in it when the jar was half empty. I was very upset. How do I file a complaint?
Hi. Where do I start researching if our family wanted to sell barbeque road side? We used to own and run a restaurant in 2008 when my husband got out of the military but we had a building. Now I was just thinking pitching a tent road side maybe on weekends and special event times. Thank you in advance.
I’m growing organic wheatgrass and juicing in my home. I want to sell the juice ‘shots’ to stores and to retail customers. Can I do this?
We want to sell home made baked goods at a charity event. Is this permissible?
It is usually possible to sell baked goods for charity. Here’s some more info about it: http://forrager.com/faq/#nonprofit
I want to make and sell chocolate truffles for christmas. I would make it in my home kitchen and would sell them on etsy. I am allowed to to that?
No — Rhode Island only allows farmers to sell homemade food. You need to use a commercial kitchen to produce your truffles. http://forrager.com/faq/#commercial
If recipes for canning relishes and pickles were sent to and approved by Cornell University could they then be approved to be sold at Farmers Markets?
I’m not sure what the ag or health dept requires to approve certain canned foods. Assuming you are a qualifying farmer who can use this law, you should contact the ag dept to learn about their testing requirements.