The Texas cottage food law list is expansive, making it one of the best states to create, market, and sell your food to customers! Cottage food laws make it easy for at-home cooks to sell their creations without the need for expensive licenses, expensive rented kitchens, or other types of regulations.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, which is why it's important to familiarize yourself with the cottage food law Texas has. Being familiar with these laws will help you understand whether or not you need a permit to sell food from home, whether or not you can sell your food through the internet, and foods that are allowed to be sold and shipped from your home.
In general, cottage foods are foods that do not need to be refrigerated or kept at a certain temperature in order to be safe to eat. For instance, if you leave a piece of chocolate out on the countertop overnight and it is safe to eat, then most states, such as Texas, allow this cottage food to be sold by home bakers and home cooks.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has its own unique list of cottage foods you're allowed to sell from home without worrying about getting a penalty for selling food without a license in Texas. These foods include:
More importantly, however, the Department also lists "any other food that is not a TCS food" as being okay to sell and ship from home.
Now that you know what foods you're allowed to sell, it's important to understand the specific rules on shipping food and selling food to customers. For instance, if you're asking, "Do you need a permit to sell food on the side of the road," the answer is not anymore!
However, you must only sell your products directly to consumers within the state of Texas. This is because interstate commerce is strictly regulated by the federal government, so any state laws that Texas has regarding cottage foods or local laws will not apply.
Fortunately, this doesn't mean you can't ship your products via mail. In order to do so, you must ship them directly to the consumer after they purchase the order in person from your store, through a catalog, through another avenue where there is at least one human interaction.
All foods must be shipped to protect them from contamination. However, the state of Texas says it's fine to leave wedding cakes and other large, bulky items from being packaged. For these items, it's best for the customer to come to your home or another area to pick up their cake, or for you to deliver it to them in person.
In addition, you must also properly label all food items you plan on selling per Texas' labeling instructions. This includes label including:
If the item you are shipping is too large to be packaged, then you need to provide an invoice or receipt that contains all of this information for your customer on it.
The Texas cottage food law shipping rules have changed recently, along with other changes that have come as a result of amendments to the cottage food law, also known as SB 572.
People interested in knowing which items they can sell, such as how to sell tamales legally in Texas, should keep up with these recent changes. Fortunately, the Texas cottage food law 2020 and the Texas cottage food law 2021 haven't changed too much in terms of implementing restrictions.
For starters, the changes to the list of allowable foods since 2019 have made it possible for home cooks to sell many more items to customers, such as baked goods without perishable custards. However, according to updated Texas cottage food law cream cheese frosting is still not allowed due to it being perishable.
Similarly, there are many other items that are still outlawed for sale at home, which include but are not limited to:
Due to updates to the Texas cottage food laws 2022, people must also properly label all their food items before sale and before they ship out. Proper cottage food law labels are incredibly important due to these labels providing valuable information to the consumer.
Texas cottage food law label requirements have not changed, besides the implementation of adding your home address or the address of your operation via the internet only after you receive your payment.
You can find a Texas cottage food law label template online to sell your products individually. No matter what type of food you sell or if it's shipped, Texas cottage food laws do not allow for the sale of wholesale items. You must also obtain a food handler's card before you start preparing food. Although you do not need an official Texas cottage food law certificate, you do need a food handler's license before you begin to prepare food.
There are many similarities with other states and the Texas cottage food law. For instance, the best selling cottage foods in any state by far are baked goods that don't have any perishable ingredients. These types of foods are sweet, easy to consume, and incredibly delicious. However, there are other types of cottage food laws that are different for every state you live in. Below are some popular cottage food laws and how they differ from other states.
California is quite unique in that they require different "class" licenses in order to sell food. However, California, unlike Texas, allows cottage food businesses to sell through other restaurants. For the cottage food law of California 2021, a Class A food permit will allow cottage food sellers to sell directly to the public. A Class B food permit allows sellers to give their foods to a restaurant or other retailer, who will then sell the food at their own establishment, so long as it is also fully licensed.
There were recent cottage food laws Florida 2021 brought in, but even still, it is quite easy for someone to get started on their cottage food business in Florida. Just like Texas, there are no inspections or official permits needed to sell cottage food in Florida.
In addition, Florida also does not allow people to sell their items wholesale to other restaurants and retailers. Nevertheless, Florida has other benefits you can't find in Texas. Mainly, there is a high cap on the amount of sales someone can make yearly of $250,000, compared to the cap on sales in Texas of only $50,000.
Illinois is also very unique in terms of its cottage food laws. Unlike Texas, Florida, and California, Illinois cottage food laws give a list of foods that are not allowed to be sold, but allow every other food that isn't on that list. In addition, there is no sales limit to the amount of sales that can be done per year, which is a huge change for cottage food sellers working solely from their business.
Illinois also allows for the sale of many perishable items, but with added restrictions. People should check in for updates to the cottage food laws before selling riskier items, such as pickled goods. Lastly, Illinois also allows all direct sales within the state, making it much like Texas in this regard. This means people can sell their cottage foods anywhere in the state, so long as it is sold directly to the buyer.
Other states have restrictions on where you can sell your foods. For instance, some states only allow the sale of cottage foods at farmers markets or special events, or at roadside stands.
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