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Rhode Island

This state's cottage food law is restricted, so it is not available to everyone!

Rhode Island essentially has no cottage food laws, because the law they do have is limited to a very select group of individuals. Producing food from home is only available to farmers that sell over $2,500 of agricultural products throughout the year. This excludes most of the small producers that cottage food laws are usually tailored to.

All of the information here is for the “Farm Home Food Manufacture” law, which allows full-scale farmers to add value to their produce by creating certain non-perishable goods, like jams, pies, or candy. The fruits and vegetables that go into the products must be locally grown, though the law doesn’t specify that the farmers themselves need to grow them. The registration process is a little more complicated than most states, but once that’s done, farmers can sell as many of their goods as they want, as long as it’s at a farm-related event or location.

Selling

Roadside stands must be located on the farm, and the only events, markets, and 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”.

Allowed Foods

Fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown must be locally grown. The only syrup allowed is maple syrup, and the sap must be sourced from trees that are within a 20 mile radius of the farm.

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

Pets must be kept out of the kitchen at all times, even when not preparing food.

Business

Registration

Registration is only available for full-scale farmers that sell at least $2,500 of agricultural products every year.  Farmers must register for an annual license, which costs $65.

Private well testing

If the farm uses a private water supply, it must be tested annually, which would incur an extra fee.

Although a kitchen inspection isn’t required, the home must be checked by a building official to see that it passes the minimum housing standards.

Every product must be standardized, and a recipe for each one, including processing procedures, must always be kept in the kitchen.

Labeling

Sample Label

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

There are a number of kitchen requirements to adhere to, which can be found in the law in 21-27-6.1(1 & 2).

Resources

Law Dates
September 2002
Title 21-27-6.1

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Comments

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?

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?

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.

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