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Colorado Cottage Food Law

Is it legal to sell cottage foods in Colorado? Cottage foods are homemade foods that do not require refrigeration and do not encourage the growth of dangerous bacteria. Colorado has laws about selling homemade food, but, yes, it is legal.

This article reviews the most current Colorado cottage food law. It looks at which foods you can sell, where you can sell them, and how they have to be labeled. It covers what you need to do to get started selling homemade foods, including taking a food safety training class.

Overview of Colorado cottage food laws

Initially passed in 2012, the Colorado Cottage Food Act spells out which foods cottage cooks, home chefs, and food artisans are permitted to produce and sell.

In a nutshell, you're allowed to prepare the following foods at home, and sell them at permitted venues:

You can get an inclusive list of specific cottage foods that can be sold from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Starting a cottage food business in Colorado

Government officials in the state of Colorado understand that more and more people are interested in taking some type of control over the foods that they eat. The cottage foods movement is in full swing across the United States and the world.

It's not difficult to start a cottage food business in Colorado, provided that you follow a few simple rules. The state makes it easy and affordable for the average person to enhance their health and supplement their income by selling homemade cottage foods to the public.

Do I need a license to sell homemade food in Colorado?

Some states require a special business license or home inspection in order to become a cottage food vendor. Colorado does not. You do not need a license or inspection to sell cottage foods in the state.

However, you will be required to take a Colorado cottage food class. The Complete Food Safety Training for Colorado Cottage Food Producers is offered by the Colorado State University Extension. Since 2014, more than 2,000 Coloradans have earned this certificate, and enrollment is currently at its all-time high.

Cottage food labeling requirements in CO

Cottage food chefs in Colorado are required to put individual labels on each product they have for sale. In plain English, the label must state:

You'll also need to include the following statement on your labels:

“This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection and that may also contain common food allergies such as tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, milk, fish, and crustacean shellfish. This product is not intended for resale.”

Where can I sell cottage foods in Colorado?

Cottage food producers in Colorado must sell their products only at certain permitted venues. In legal terms, they must sell their products directly to “informed end consumers”.

That means that you can sell your homemade cottage foods at roadside stands, carnivals, festivals, farmer's markets, or directly from your home.

Many states do not allow cottage food producers to sell their products online or via the mail. However, Colorado does. You are allowed to sell your products on the Internet and by mail order.

However, you are not allowed to sell your products via a third-party outlet, like a restaurant or grocery store. You are, however, allowed to assign a representative to sell your products on your behalf at permitted venues. Per-vendor annual cottage food sales in Colorado are capped at $10,000.

Colorado cottage food law takeaway

Colorado makes it a lot easier than some other states to begin a cottage food vending business. You do not need a special business license or to have your home kitchen inspected. You simply have to take a food safety class to earn a certificate there. That certificate will be good for 3 years.

As more Americans begin to understand the importance of taking control of their diets and the individual foods they eat, the cottage food industry continues to boom. Staying in compliance with the Colorado government is not difficult, especially compared to some other states.

Overall, Colorado is an accommodating state for independent chefs, food artisans, and cottage cooks.

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