The California Homemade Food Act, enacted Jan. 1, 2013, amended the California Health and Safety Code to allow the preparation and sale of some food products created in home kitchens. The California Department of Public Health limits approved items to food products deemed "non-potentially hazardous," defined as those unlikely to grow harmful bacteria or other toxic microorganisms at room temperature.

Acceptable food products include:

  • Baked goods without cream, custard or meat fillings (bread, churros, cookies, pastries, tortillas, etc.)

  • Candy, including chocolate-covered nuts and dried fruit

  • Dried fruit and pasta

  • Dry baking mixes, granolas, cereals and trail mixes

  • Fruit pies, fruit empanadas and fruit tamales

  • Honey, jams, jellies and fruit butters

  • Nut mixes, nut butters and popcorn

  • Vinegar and mustards

  • Roasted coffee and dried tea

    Cottage food operators are required to obtain annual registrations or permit to operate through their respective counties. Class A permitted cottage food operator is required to complete food-handling classes and may sell cottage foods directly from their homes, and at permitting farmers markets, bake sales and community events. Class B cottage food operators are allowed to sell their wares indirectly through local shops, restaurants and other third-party sales. They are also subject to an annual home inspection.


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    Under current law, cottage food operators can generate revenue of as much as $45,000 in 2014, and $50,000 per year in 2015.

    Sources: California Department of Public Health, Sonoma County Department of Public Health