Colorado Cottage Foods Act

Organizing works!

WCC members and allied organizations talked with their state legislators and in 2012, Senator Gail Schwartz introduced the Colorado Cottage Food Act. The bill sailed through the legislature with bipartisan support in 2012 and our state joined at least forty-two others that allow the sale of cottage foods.

WCC members Rein van West, Monica Wiitanen, and Evette Lee testify in favor of Cottage Food Act expansion in 2015

The Cottage Food Act is a commonsense measure that promotes economic development in Colorado communities, supports locally grown and prepared foods, and generates income for small producers.

We hope you’ll join us as we continue our efforts to support the growth of a vibrant Cottage Foods Industry in Colorado!

Senate Bill 16-058
This bill expands the products allowed under the cottage food law to include pickled fruits and vegetables.

We are working on updated fact sheets as the new law is implemented and will share that information here as soon as we have it available.

Meanwhile, you can read the final signed version of the new bill here: Senate Bill 16-058

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Colorado Cottage Foods Act?

The Cottage Foods Act allows Colorado residents to make and sell non-potentially hazardous foods that are produced in a home, commercial, private or public kitchen. All foods must be sold directly to the ultimate consumer.

How do producers qualify to sell cottage foods?

Producers are required to take a food safety course that includes basic food handling training and is comparable to or given by CSU extension service or a state, county or district public health agency. See Training requirements below for more information.

Producers are responsible for collecting and submitting applicable sales tax.  Producers are encouraged, but not required, to purchase adequate liability insurance for their business.

Where can cottage foods producers sell their goods?

251011_511013932252378_949236012_nGoods can be sold on the producer’s premises, at a roadside stand, farmers market, Community Supported Agriculture organization, or similar venue where the product is sold direct to consumers but not to grocery stores or restaurants.

Producers must display a placard at the point of sale with the following disclaimer: “This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection. This product is not intended for resale.”

How much can producers sell?

Colorado residents can earn up to $10,000 net revenue per year for each eligible item. For example, $10,000 from wheat bread, $10,000 from sourdough bread, $10,000 from cherry preserves and $10,000 from peach preserves.  Producers can also sell up to 250 dozen farm fresh eggs per month direct to consumers.

What kinds of food can be produced and sold?

Food items that can be produced and sold under the Cottage Foods Act include pickled fruits and vegetables, candies, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butter, dehydrated produce, spices, teas, nuts, seeds, flour, fruit empanadas, certain baked goods and other non-potentially hazardous foods. Producers can also sell eggs under the law.

What are the requirements for selling eggs under the Cottage Foods Act?

Producers can also sell up to 250 dozen farm fresh eggs per month directly to consumers.  Eggs must bear the following information on an affixed label:

1) The address where the eggs originatedeggs1-544x362

2) The date when eggs were packaged

3) The following disclaimer exactly as written: “Safe Handling Instructions: To prevent illness from bacteria, keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook any foods containing eggs thoroughly. These eggs do not come from a government-approved source.”

What are the labeling requirements for cottage food products?

Cottage food products must have an affixed label that includes all of the following information:

cottage foods label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Resources

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment:
http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-DEHS/CBON/1251586894464

Check here for latest information. Includes fact sheets, a producer brochure and eligibility checklist. For specific questions, contact the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability at (303) 692-3645.

 

Training Requirements

The Colorado Cottage Foods Act states:

“A producer must take a food safety course that includes basic food handling training and is comparable to, or is a course given by, the Colorado state university extension service or a state, county, or district public health agency, and must maintain a status of good standing in accordance with the course requirements, including attending any additional classes if necessary.”

Training Resources

Face-to-Face Training

Food Safety Training for Cottage Food Producers. Offered by CSU Extension. Three year certification. Contact your local extension office for more information. Cost: ($20 – $30  varies)

Contact your local public health agency for information about local food handler training classes.

ServSafe® Manager Certification. Face-to-face trainings and/or proctoring for certification exam. Five year certification, Cost: $120 and up.

Online Training

StateFoodSafety.com online food handler training offered on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) website. Two year certification. Length: 90 minutes, Cost: $10

CSU’s “Developing a Safe Food Business Certificate” online course

ServSafe® Food Handler online certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Source: http://cofarmtomarket.com/value-added-products/cottage-foods/