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Cottage Food Laws
COMAR Regulations 10.15.03.02, 10.15.03.27
Maryland’s Cottage Food Law allows citizens to operate from a home-based kitchen or on-farm food processing kitchen to produce "cottage foods".
A “cottage food" product is a non-hazardous food offered for sale directly to a consumer from a residence, at a farmer’s market, at public events, by personal delivery, or by mail delivery (not offered for sale through interstate commerce.)
By law, the owner of a cottage food business may sell only cottage food products stored on the premises of the business without needing a food license. If other non-cottage items or potentially-hazardous items are sold in conjunction, a food permit is then required for retail and/or storage.
COTTAGE FOOD PRODUCTS THAT MAY BE PRODUCED INCLUDE:
Non-potentially hazardous baked goods such as:
bagels, pastries, brownies, breads, cakes, pies
no cream cheese, custards, or other potentially-hazardous fillings, glazes, fruits or cream cheeses that require refrigeration
High-acid fruit jams, preserves and jellies made only from:
oranges, Nectarines, tangerines, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, red currants, or
another fruit mixture that produces an acid-canned product at 4.6 pH or less
Fruit butters made only from:
apples, apricots, grapes, peaches, plums, prunes, quince, or
another fruit that produces an acid-canned product at 4.6 pH or less
Hard candy made in a home kitchen that does not require further refrigeration. Chocolates, caramel, fudge, and other soft candies require a permit
ALL COTTAGE FOODS MUST BE PREPACKAGED WITH A LABEL THAT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
The name and address of the business where the food is made. Listing a P.O. BOX address is not permissible.
The name, ingredients, and net weight/volume of the product.
Allergen information as specified by federal labeling requirements; “Major food allergen” includes: milk, egg, fish (bass, flounder, or cod), crustacean (crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts, soybeans.
Nutritional information as specified by federal labeling requirements, if any nutritional information claim is made about product.
A printed statement in 10 point type or larger, in a color that provides a clear contrast to the background of the label: “Made by a cottage food business that is not subject to Maryland food safety regulations.”
NOTE: For more information or for items that do not meet the criteria above, need refrigeration, or do not meet the high-acid canning regulations, contact either your local health department or the Maryland Department of Health
Maryland Department of Health
Office of Food Protection
6 St. Paul Street, Suite 1301
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 767-8400
Fax: (410) 333-8931
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464
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