Stay safe when preparing or buying homemade holiday goodies


By Megan Batson, BS, REHS - Fayette Co. Public Health



Who doesn’t like homemade treats during the holidays? Here are a few helpful hints if you want to plan to make and sell your favorite homemade goodies for a little extra money or buy items for your family get-together. We will discuss what is allowed to be made at home and how it can be sold without having to have a food service or retail food license from the local health department or a home bakery license.

Cottage Food Production in Ohio

You are able to prepare food items in your home if you meet the following conditions: you are the resident of the home, which contains only one stove or residential double oven. This type of food production is referred to as Cottage Food Production in Ohio.

Once you determine you meet these conditions, we then need to discuss the types of foods that are allowed to be prepared and sold under cottage food rules. The foods that are permitted are not potentially hazardous (which means no refrigeration is needed to limit the growth of organisms, such as baked goods, candy, popcorn (does not include un-popped popping corn), unfilled baked donuts, dry cereal and nut snack mixes, roasted coffee, dry baking mixes for cookies and cakes, dry seasoning blends, jams, jellies, fruit butter, granola, flavored honey made by a beekeeper or maple sugar made by a processor exempt under ORC 3715.012. The full list of foods is available at https://agri.ohio.gov/divisions/food-safety/resources/cottage-food.

Where to Buy and Sell Cottage Foods

These foods may be sold directly from the home, at licensed grocery stores or restaurants, registered farm and farmer markets, or during festivals that last no more than 7 consecutive days.

These foods must also be properly labeled with 1. Name of the food, 2. The net weight of the product, 3. Ingredients list, starting with what contains the most product and working your way down, 4. Name and address of the Business, 5. In 10-point font, “This Product is Home Produced.” The label must also list any allergens which include, milk, eggs, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. An example label can be found at https://bit.ly/cfpo2022.

Foods That Require a Home Bakery License

Finally, let’s talk about what food can not be produced and sold as a cottage food. This would include raw or uncooked animal products, cooked vegetables, garlic in oil, cheesecakes, pumpkin pies, custard pies, and cream pies. If you would like to produce these types of foods you would need to obtain a Home Bakery license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. You also can not produce low-acid canned foods or acidified foods. Canned vegetables, salsa, and barbeque sauce are examples of foods that must be produced in a licensed cannery.

For more information on cottage foods, call the Environmental Health division of FCPH at 740-333-3590.

Megan Batson, B.S. is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at Fayette County Public Health.

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By Megan Batson, BS, REHS

Fayette Co. Public Health