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Cottage Food Law

In 2012, Tennessee updated their home-based food laws to make it much easier for cooks to sell their homemade food. Although a license or inspection from the ag department is no longer required, producers can only sell in-person at certain venues. However, sellers may still utilize the older domestic kitchen law if they want to sell indirectly to restaurants or stores.

Producers can sell an unlimited amount of non-PHF baked goods, candies, jams, jellies, or other similar items. While no training is required under this amended law, the Department of Agriculture strongly encourages sellers to take a food safety course.


At the place of sale, you must display a regular (8.5″ x 11″) sheet of paper that says “These food products were made in a private home not licensed or inspected” (0.75-inch font).

You can give out free samples of your products.

The law isn’t clear about whether online sales are allowed, but it is clear that all products need to be handed to the customer in-person. You can definitely sell online if you become licensed under the domestic kitchen law.

Made-to-order goods (like birthday cakes, wedding cakes, and custom cookies) may fall under catering and be regulated by the health department, in which case, they would not be allowed under this law. Contact your local health department to learn if you can produce them from home.

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Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods
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


There is no sales limit

Honey sales are limited to 150 gallons per year (TCA 53-1-102-29). If you produce more than that, you need to use a licensed and inspected facility.


Even though there is no license or training required, you are still encouraged to take a training course in food handling and have an authority check your recipes.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product was made in a private home not license or inspected"

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, TN 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)

Produced on 10/24/2020

NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


Job Title
Principal Secretary
Food Science & Technology, University of Tennessee
201A Food Science & Technology Building
2510 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4539
Contact Nancy about food safety training
Law Dates
May 2012
SB 3547

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I am wanting to start a cupcake and cookie business out of my home. Do I have to add sales tax to the product? How much per year do I have to make for it to be required of me to file for Taxes at the end of the year>

I sell eggrolls for people I work with and sometimes my friends jobs. I makr them of course at home usually no more than 300-500 of them. I found a place that will let me sell in front of their clothing store for a fee. Do I need a food permit or a license to sell them because they contain meat and I’m doing on the street?

I want to make baking extracts using vodka to sell at my local farmers market. My question is can I do that under the cottage kitchen laws or so I have to look into other licencing because of the use of vodka? Any information would be appreciated

I want to make sure I am understanding correctly: I am allowed to make and sell decorated cookies out of my home under the cottage food law. The only rules is that it has to be labeled? I do not need a home inspection, correct? Do I need a business license? How does it work for tax purposes? I want to make sure I have all of my bases covered!

Is selling freeze dried foods allowed? I have a freeze drier and I freeze dry alot of produce, dairy products like ice cream and yogurt I also freeze dry meats.

If I bake a cupcake for example that is topped with an Oreo cookie how do I list it in the ingredients or any other pre-packaged goods? Do I have to list all the ingredients in the Oreo cookie in addition to my cupcake ingredients?

    If you look carefully at the example label above, what they’ve done is first– listed all of the ingredients to their chocolate chip cookies:

    Enriched Flour, butter, semisweet chocolate, etc

    But after each ingredient in the parenthesis they have listed the “sub ingredients” that make up that individual ingredient.

    So when you put your Oreos in your Oreo Crumble Brownies or whatever, use the parenthesis to copy the ingredients list on the Oreo package exactly as they appear.

Would you be able to sell jams/jellies at an orchards small store if you are getting the fruits from that orchard? Or can they sell their products if I make the items for them? Thanks!