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Decorating Gingerbread Cookies with Icing

The Alabama Cottage Food Law went into effect in 2014 and provides guidance and information for cottage food entrepreneurs. The law states that individuals can produce certain nonhazardous foods in their homes.  Cottage food cannot be sold to restaurants, novelty shops, grocery stores, or over the internet.

Alabama Extension teaches Cottage Food Law courses across the state. Find one near you.

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Approved Foods

The foods listed below can be sold directly to the consumer:

  • Candies
  • Jams and jellies
  • Dried herbs
  • Dried herb mixes
  • Baked goods: cakes, cookies, pastries, doughnuts, breads

Foods to Avoid

The foods listed below cannot be sold directly to the consumer:

  • Baked goods with a component that requires refrigeration: custard pies, danish with cream filling, and cakes with a whipped topping.
  • Juices from fruits and vegetables
  • Milk products
  • Soft or hard cheese
  • Pickles, relishes
  • Barbecue sauces
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Garlic in old mixtures
  • Meats in any form
  • Fried pickles
  • Fruit butters
  • Candied or roasted pecans
  • Candied or caramel apples
  • Popcorn (candied, coated, or flavored)

Labels

The Cottage Food Law requires the following on labels:

  • Name of the individual or business
  • Address of the individual or business
  • Statement: THIS FOOD IS NOT INSPECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

The person operating a food business under the Cottage Food Law must attend and pass a food safety course approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health every 5 years.

A note about sales: You cannot exceed $20,000 in gross sales of the food described under the Alabama Cottage Food Law.

 

Download a printable PDF of FCS-2058 Alabama Cottage Food Law Basic Rules and Regulations.

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