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Cottage Food Law
updated: Feb 25, 2013, 10:31 AM

Source: Public Health Department

New Cottage Food Law Offers Business Opportunities

The California Homemade Food Law was passed in September 2012 and became effective January 2013. This law opens the door for a growing movement of community- based food production in home kitchens, sometimes called "cottage food".

The new law allows microenterprises that prepare low-risk foods to operate without investing in a commercial kitchen. The law lists the specific low-risk foods that are allowed to be prepared in a cottage food operation. The new law does not extend to products containing meat or dairy, but allows baked goods, granola, trail mix, popcorn, candies, dried fruit, coffee, tea, jams, jellies, vinegar, mustard, pickles and other low-risk items.

There are two types of cottage food operations. Class A cottage food operations (direct sale to the consumer only), must register on-line with Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services and submit a completed "self-certification checklist". Class B cottage food operations (direct sale to the consumer and/or indirect sales through a middleman), have additional requirements and must be inspected and permitted by Environmental Health Services.

Larry Fay, Director of Environmental Health Services stated, "This offers great opportunities for our community. Cottage Food Operations promote locally produced products and brings the consumer closer to producer." He also reinforced that it is important that operators work within the framework and guidelines of the cottage food law to assure the products are safe for consumers. Improperly prepared food can lead to foodborne illness.

Individuals who are considering initiating a new cottage food operation or are interested in additional information about the law are encouraged to learn more. Santa Barbara County has developed guidelines for cottage food operators within the County that are available on the website www.sbcphd.org/ehs. There is additional information on the California Department of Public Health website: www.cdph.ca.gov.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 378465 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 11:33 AM

Does this mean if a mom gets the required stuff, she can now legally do bake sale-type things? I know a non-profit that wasn't allowed to have a bake sale at an event, as the goodies (cupcakes, brownies, cookies, etc) weren't made in a commercial kitchen. (I know not everyone has issues with this, but for those that do, this might be a great way to deal with restrictions on selling bake sale items.)


 COMMENT 378497 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 12:27 PM

They'll be having a "Local Artisans Market" at La Cumbre Plaza on Fridays and at the Goleta Valley Community Center on Saturdays. I'm so excited!


 COMMENT 378515 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 12:53 PM

Seriously?!! Local Artisans Markets? Fantastic!!!!! It's waaaaay past time! Any details? Contact information?


 COMMENT 378545 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 01:50 PM

I don't think I can post links ... but localartisansmarket [dot] com


 COMMENT 378561 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 02:39 PM

I miss the tri tip bbq sales at high school sporting events but I guess any school (PTA) could do it.....

I think the Elks, Moose and Rotaries used to sponsor it at different times, different schools.

You eat it there or buy it uncut and take it home, I asked about starting it again,but it was no go, to much liability....


 COMMENT 378570 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 03:04 PM

This is long overdue. What scares me is the big corp food; remember the Jalisco cheese, 45 dead. Glad the little guy is getting a break for once.


 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 05:20 PM

Great news!

Here's a link to the Local Artisan Mart:

And the "Local Artisans Club" (more than food) and weekly artisan market at Goleta Community Center:

and an Indie article:


 COMMENT 378633 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 05:34 PM

570: Whoa. I hadn't heard of that outbreak (I was 1 at the time...). That is incredibly scary. And a NYT article said 62 deaths, including still borns. HORRIBLE. I'll take homemade stuff any day...


 COMMENT 378793 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-26 09:15 AM

Ond day it will explode when we realize that every packaged item typically found within a grocery store is laden with GMO. It will end up that GMO has contributed significantly to the various metabolic disorders. It has not been just sugar and salt.

The real blame is governmental policies that favored unhealthy farm subsidies in corn, soy, meat and dairy. Of course the industry authored or cowrote many of the legislation that pleases not only big ag and denatured food products, but the medical and pharmaceutical industry.


 COMMENT 378827P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-26 10:35 AM

Amazing! The government actually has the capability to backpedal from monstrous bureaucratic legal restrictions and support local sustainable food production that doesn't require an investment of millions. Excellent news.


 COMMENT 379085 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-26 08:54 PM

When is the County going to allow on-site prepared food at the farmers' markets? The Saturday market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco is filled with vendors cooking and grilling meats, vegies and seafood for noshing while shopping, and it makes for an incredible combined eating and shopping experience. Heck, even the Sunday farmer's market in Ojai has a vendor selling freshly steamed tamales for consumption on site!
If food safety is the issue, the County ought to ban most mass produced, supermarket-sold meats, eggs, poultry, cheese and produce given how many thousands of Americans suffer food poisoning every year from this supposedly "safe" supply chain.


 COMMENT 379184 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-27 08:49 AM

Me? I'll take food prepared in a properly cleaned, professional, health-inspected kitchen over home-prepared any day. I've been in way too many homes where the cats are on the counters and it's way to easy not to properly clean your hands or sanitize your dishes when no one's looking.

Health department inspections started for a reason, people!


 COMMENT 383349 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-03-10 03:02 PM

Does anybody sign up for this ?
somebody actually make something from their own kitchen.
this would be fantastic opportunity for someone who makes goody to introduce them self to public.


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