West Virginia Can you legally sell food from home in West Virginia?
Cottage Food Law
West Virginia has one of the best cottage food laws in the country. For many years, they had very specific and restrictive laws which only allowed a few types of food items to be sold at farmers markets.
Then in 2018, they passed a new law which expanded the allowed foods list but still restricted sales to farmers markets.
And in 2019, they passed this law (SB 285) which removed almost all restrictions. West Virginians can now sell almost any type of non-PHF food from any venue within the state (including online sales and mail orders), and there is no sales limit.
In addition, the law exempts home cooks from government regulation, including permits, inspections, or prohibitions. The only time the government can step in is if a customer complains about a food borne illness.
Selling homemade pickled, acidified, or fermented foods is not allowed under this law, but those can be sold at farmers markets under the older law.
Therefore, as long as a producer is making an allowed food and following the labeling requirements, they can start their business immediately, with no extra costs involved.
Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?
Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?
Please see the Farmers Market Vendors Guide for more information about allowed foods.
You can sell acidified foods (pickled products, sauces, salsas, etc), non-standard jellies (pepper jelly), non-standard fruit butters (pumpkin butter), fermented foods, or eggs at farmers markets by using West Virginia’s older law. You must grow your own produce to use that law. If you are unsure, call the WVDA Regulatory & Environmental Affairs Division at 304-558-2227 to see if you can sell your items outside of farmers markets.
To sell honey or pet food/treats, you must register for a special permit with the WV Department of Agriculture.
Limitations How will your home food business be restricted?
Labeling How do you label cottage food products?
Chocolate Chip Cookies
"This product was produced at a private residence that is exempt from State licensing and inspection. This product may contain allergens."
Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, WV 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)
According to the law, this labeling information must be provided:
- On a label affixed to the package, if the homemade food item is packaged;
- On a label affixed to the container, if the homemade food item is offered for sale from a bulk container;
- On a placard displayed at the point of sale, if the homemade food item is neither packaged nor offered for sale from a bulk container;
- On the webpage on which the homemade food item is offered for sale, if the homemade food item is offered for sale on the Internet; or
- On a receipt or other document provided to the customer with the homemade food item.
If you sell honey, you must also include the net weight on the label, as well as the statement “Please do not feed to infants under 1 year of age.”
Resources Where can you find more information about this law?
- WV Department of Agriculture
- Regulatory & Environmental Affairs Division
- (304) 558-2227
- For general questions, farmers market vendor registration, and information about selling acidified and fermented foods outside of farmers markets.
- WV Department of Agriculture
- Business Development Division
- For labeling information
Do I need any type of permit or business license to sell jams/jellies at a farmers market in WV?
Can I use my home kitchen to open a catering business? If yes, are there any inspections or other restrictions I need to be aware of? Thank you!
I think you need to use a commercial kitchen to run a catering business. https://forrager.com/faq#commercial
If I decide to start selling cookies out of my home, do I need to fill out the WVDA registration form? And is that the only form I do need to fill out with the state?
No, you should not need to register with the ag dept.
With all the legal changes over the last ew years, may I ask if I can sell akes that need to be refrigerated or pastries with preserves or cheese? Is there a way I can get a full copy of the law?
We are fixing to move to WV . We are buying a farm that has a few outer buildings , if I convert one into a commercial kitchen can my wife sell her cakes from this location if I have it DEHC approved
You no longer need to use a commercial kitchen. Your wife can use your home kitchen to make her cakes. BTW, it is possible to convert an outbuilding to a commercial kitchen, but it can be very expensive, and you should work closely with the health dept while doing so.