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Oregon Cottage Food Laws and Regulations: How to sell your homemade foods in Oregon
Oregon Cottage Food Laws, Regulations and Facts
Oregon is one of the more complicated states to understand what isallowable and what you must do. Before you start, please discusswhat you want to do with the Food Safety Program office (503-986-4720)
Oregon has 2 standards...
- Domestic food processing license - to sell food that is madein your home kitchen, you must meet special requirements and must obtaina domestic kitchen license. This process is more rigorous.
- Domestic bakery license (a.k.a, the home baker exemption) -to sell certain bakery products that are made in your home kitchen, youmust must meet special requirements and must obtain a domestic kitchenlicense. But the requirements are a bit reduced from the full domestickitchen license.
In Oregon, domestic kitchenprocessor laws. Date of the enactment of the Oregon domestic kitchen law:January 1st, 2016.
Anyone who would like to sell food that is made in his or herhome kitchen must meet special requirements and must obtain adomestic kitchen license.
Residential Kitchens Home Bakers Exemption
However, there is also a Home Baking Bill that exemptsresidential kitchens for certain baked goods & confectionary items. The HomeBakery Exemption allows people to produce certain baked goods andconfectionary items in their home kitchens and sell them directly toconsumers without having to obtain a food establishment license orundergo an inspection from the Oregon Department of Agriculture(ODA). Exempt home kitchens must be built and maintained in a clean,healthful, and sanitary manner.
Residential Kitchens may be exempt if producing baked goods orconfectionery items that are not potentially hazardous and that aresold only to the end user. Sales must not exceed $20,000 annually.
Anyone who would like to sell food that is made in his or herhome kitchen that does not meet the Home Bakery Exemptions mustobtain and meet all special requirements for a domestic kitchenbakery and/or food processing license. These licenses start at $152per year and $189 per year respectively:https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/FoodSafety/DomesticKitchensLicensingReq.pdf
Which foods are subject to these Oregon food laws?
Home bakers may make and sell Baked goods and confectionary itemsthat are not "potentially hazardous" "Baked goods" includes
- crackers and
- all similar goods made for human consumption.
"Confectionary items" means candy or sweets, including, but notlimited to:
- salted caramels,
- marshmallow bars,
- chocolate covered marshmallows, and
- hard candy.
If you get the full domnestic kitchen license; you can also make
Prohibited (these do not qualify for the home bakers exemption)
"Potentially hazardous" baked goods require temperature control(e.g., refrigeration) to prevent the rapid growth of infectious ortoxic microorganisms. Examples include:
- Baked goods that require refrigeration afterproduction, such as pies, cakes or pastries containing cream,custard, meringue, or cream cheese icings or fillings;
- Focaccia-style breads containing vegetables or cheese;
- Candied fresh fruit products including caramel and candyapples;
- Baked goods containing fresh, frozen, or dried meat, or fishor shellfish products (e.g., potpies or pastries with thoseingredients).
Also prohibited from any domestic kitchen license are
- Low-acid food canning
- Dairy processing (such as homemade ice cream)
- Meat cutting or processing
- Dried meats
All activities listed in the second list above may be done in anapproved facility that is licensed (not a home kitchen). r.
If your food product does not meet the definition of a CottageFood:
So, if your food product is on the prohibited list and/or does not meet the definition of a Cottage Food, you may still be able to make and sellit commercially, through a startup approach using a licensed kitchen or a co-packe. Don't give up. You may still be able to make and sell it commercially,through a startup approach.
First, you may be able to rent space in a local licensed commercial kitchen.
Second, if that doesn't work, you may be able to get a co-packer to make the food for you.
See this page for detailed information about selling foods that donot meet the Cottage Food definition
Licensed Residential Kitchens / Domestic Kitchens
This is separate from the home bakers exemption. These areNON-exempt home kitchens that specific requirements. They are allowto (notice it says "sell", not "make")
- Sell the following, inindividual-sized portions for immediate consumption only (notwholesale)
- Candy, candied apples, andnon-potentially hazardous (not requiring temperature controlfor the safety of the food product) confections
- Commercially prepackaged icecream and frozen desserts sold in individual servings
- Commercially pickled products
- Commercially processed jerky,nuts, nutmeats, and popcorn
- Prepackaged foods such aspotato chips, pretzels, and crackers
- Unopened commercially bottledand canned non-potentially hazardous beverages, includingalcoholic beverages
- Coffee and tea withnon-potentially hazardous ingredients
- Non-potentially hazardous hotor cold beverages, prepared from individually packagedpowdered mixes and commercially bottled water, excludingfresh squeezed juice
- Non-potentially hazardousfoods or beverages provided by a non-food service businessor organization at no charge
- Other food items asdetermined by the Oregon Health Authority or ODA
- Sell the following; obtained froma licensed food service, or processing establishment, orprepared onsite; for immediate consumption at an event
- Non-potentially hazardousbaked goods
- Privately donated breads,rolls, pies, cakes, doughnuts, or other pastries not havingpotentially hazardous (time temperature control for safety)fillings, served by a benevolent organization. Additionalexamples include jam, candy or mixing and packaging beansoup mix to raise funds for a non-profit organization
- Public notice must be postedthat states: "Notice: Food served at this location may nothave been inspected by the regulatory authority."
- Personal chef who preparesfood for an individual or private party
So what can you MAKE under the full domestic kitchen license(NOT the baker exemption)?
These are some of the things approved - but again, I'll make thepoint that you'd better call the state and discuss what you want to makewith them before you even start the process::
- Condiments, like Honey, Ketchup, Mustards,
- Peanut butter, Oils, Pickles, Salsas, Sauces, Syrups, Vinegars
- Preserves, like Applesauce, Chutneys, apple butter, peach butter
- home kitchen - The domestic kitchen licensewas designed to allow someone to try his or her business venturewithout a large capital expenditure and therefore, it is forlimited production only. The home kitchen must also be used fordomestic activities; an empty house or apartment cannot berented for the purpose of processing food in the kitchen.
The home kitchen license approves only the home kitchen for foodprocessing. If you plan to use a garage, basement, out building, orany other room in the house other than the kitchen as the processingarea there are additional requirements under a regular foodprocessing license. Please contact the Food Safety Program for moreinformation. The county health departments do not license domestickitchens for food service activities, so a domestic kitchen cannotbe licensed for catering operations.
Cottage Food Production Operations must label all of their food products properly,which include the following information on the label of each unit of food product offered ordistributed for sale:
- The name of the product,
- net weight,
- ingredient statement, and
- the name and address of the producer.
If the item is perishable, an expiration date is required.
It is a good idea to submit this label to the Food Safety Programfor review before having a quantity printed. There is a handoutavailable that further explains the labeling requirements(electronically available on the website).
See thispage for much more inmformation about labels, sample labels and atemplate to use.
The federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of2004 (FALCPA) requires that foods containing any of the eight majorfood allergens are clearly labeled on the principal display panel ofthe food. The eight major allergens are:
- Milk (any protein from milk, butter, cream, dry milk, whey,or casein)
- Eggs (e.g., whites, yolks, albumen, or powdered eggs)
- Soy (e.g., soy beans soy lecithin, soy protein, soy, or soyflour)
- Wheat (includes spelt, semolina, kamut, and triticale)
- Seafood (e.g., salmon, tuna, eel, bass, flounder, or cod)
- Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp)
- Peanuts (e.g., peanut butter or peanut meal)
- Tree nuts (e.g., pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews,coconut, or pine nuts)
Where may Cottage Food Production Operations sell the food products?
Foods prepared under the Home Bakery Exemption may only be soldby the producer directly to the consumer at the producer's home,farmers' markets, farm stands, roadside stands and similar venues.You cannot sell goods produced under the Home Bakery Exemption to acommercial entity or an institution including, but not limited to, arestaurant, grocery store, caterer, school, day care center,hospital, nursing home, or correctional facility
If you are considering the operation of a domestic kitchenlicense, thefollowing features will be required of your home according to OAR603-025-0200:
- Doors - any domestic kitchen doors must be kept closedduring operation of the domestic kitchen.
- People - No oneother than the licensee and employees directly under his/hersupervision are permitted to directly engage in the processing,preparing, packaging, or handling of commercial food and noother person than the licensee and employees are allowed in thedomestic kitchen during operating hours.
- Children - No infantsor children allowed in kitchen during domestic kitchenprocessing activity.
- Pets - No pets allowed - ever - in thesame building that houses the domestic kitchen.
- DomesticActivity - All domestic activities must be completed before anycommercial processing or baking takes place.
- Storage -Separate closed storage facilities are required for ingredients,finished products, cleaning materials, labels and packagingmaterials, as well as a separate refrigerated storage forperishable materials. Storage of medical supplies is notpermitted in the domestic kitchen. A separate storage area mustbe provided for household cleaning materials and other chemicalsor toxic substances.
- Domestic Kitchens shall be available forinspection between 8 am & 5 pm weekdays or other productiontimes. A
Beyond the requirements, common sense, good practices andreducing liability suggests you should do the following.
Testing of pH
It's best to use a pH meter, properly calibrated on the dayused. I use this one, which is reliable and inexpensive.And this pH meter is really good, but isn't always available.
Short-range paperpH test strips, commonly known as litmus paper, may be usedinstead, if the product normally has a pH of 4.0 or lower and thepaper's range includes a pH of 4.6.
Record-keeping is suggested
Keep a written record of every batch of product made for sale,including:
- Recipe, including procedures and ingredients
- Amount canned and sold
- Canning date
- Sale dates and locations
- Gross sales receipts
- Results of any pH test
Although inspections are not required, you should consider doingthe following:
- Use clean equipment that has been effectively sanitizedprior to use
- Clean work surfaces and then sanitize with bleach waterbefore and after use
- Keep ingredients separate from other unprocessed foods
- Keep household pets out of the work area
- Keep walls and floors clean
- Have adequate lighting
- Keep window and door screens in good repair to keep insectsout
- Wash hands frequently while working
- Consider annual testing of water if using a private well
- Allergens: Most state home bakingacts require an "ingredient statement" and/or an "allergenlisting" on the label of the bakery item for sale; but if yourstate does not, you should anyway. The eight major foodallergens are
- crustacean shellfish,
- tree nuts,
- wheat and
- Cross-allergenicity: There are alsoingredients available, even flours, that can cause across-allergenicity. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma &Immunology explains cross-allergenicity as an allergic reactionwhen proteins in one substance are similar to the proteins foundin another substance. For example, consumption of lupine flourmay trigger an allergic reaction to peanuts, and cricket flourmay trigger an allergic reaction to shellfish. Again, providingsuch information might be a beneficial marketing tool and helpkeep potential consumers safe.
- The 2 Hour/4 Hour Rule - Anyonewishing to make and sell refrigerated bakery items shouldremember to follow the "2 Hour/4 Hour Rule." This is a systemthat can be implemented when potentially hazardous foods are outof temperature control (temperatures greater than 45 degreesFahrenheit) during preparation, serving or display for sale. Therule guidelines are as follows:
- If a potentially hazardous food has been out oftemperature control for 2 hours or less, then it maycontinue to be used or be placed back in the refrigerator.
- If a potentially hazardous food has been out oftemperature control for more than 2 hours but less than 4hours, it needs to be used quickly or discarded.
- If a potentially hazardous food has been out oftemperature control for more than 4 hours, it must bediscarded.
- Oregon Domestic Kitchen License Information - English
- Oregon Domestic Kitchen License Information - Spanish
- Oregon Home (Domestic) Kitchen Bakery Law - ORS Chapter 625 Bakeriesand Bakery Products
- Oregon Home (Domestic) Kitchen Bakery Regulation OregonAdministrative Rules 603-021
- Labeling Information - English Summary of labeling requirements for processed foodsOregon Labeling Information - English Summary Document
- Labeling Information - Spanish- Summary of labeling requirements for processed foodsOregon Labeling Information - Spanish- Summary Document
What Can I Do Without a License?
Residential Kitchens (discussed on the page above) may be exempt ifproducing baked goods or confectionery items that are not potentiallyhazardous and that are sold only to the end user. Sales must not exceed$20,000 annually.
The following areOregon possible food license exemptions according to Oregon State Dept of Ag:
- Farm direct marketing bill exempts some agricultural producersselling raw commodities and value-added products directly to the finalconsumer.
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's) or farm shares are limitedto items noted in the Farm Direct Rules. No cheese, fluid milk, fish,beef, etc.
- Food swap club is a private event that is exempt if people tradehomemade, home grown, or foraged foods without food being sold or givenaway.
- Food buying clubs are exempt if they are private and limited toconsumers who sign up for membership and products offered for sale arefrom an approved source.
- Poultry slaughtering and sales of not more than 1,000 birds may beexempt.
- Farmers' markets are not currently licensed as food establishments.All food vendors are required to have a food license unless you qualifyfor exemption.
- Fruit and vegetable stands located on a farmer's property are exemptif only selling produce grown by the farmer.
- Pet food that does not contain meat may be exempt.
- Retail honey extractors who own their hives can have an unlimitednumber of hives if they only sell to the consumer.
- Wholesale honey extractors who own 20 or fewer hives and extractonly their own honey are considered to be hobbyists and are exempt.
- Egg producers who are selling and delivering their own eggs directlyto an individual consumer (including farmers' market) are exempt fromlicensing, but labeling is required. Egg producers selling only ungradedeggs to a dealer are also exempt.
- Dairy law exempts from licensing, a person who owns no more than
Three dairy cows (no more than two producing) that have calved at leastonce
Nine sheep that have lactated at least once
Nine goats thathave lactated at least once
The fluid milk from these animals may besold for human or other consumption without a license only if the milkis sold directly to the consumer at the premises where produced.Licensing is required to produce and sell any processed dairy products(cheese, ice cream, butter, etc.)
By now should know to contact your local food inspector for detailslong before you begin anything!
Questions? Contact Information:
If you have questions or need more information, you may contactthe Food Safety Program office in Salem at 503-986-4720.
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
- Oregon state and local health department contact information.