Texas Cottage Food Law

Many people dream of starting a food business. The Texas State Legislature adopted the Cottage Food Law to help people get started on that dream! Please read this to help you understand what is allowed and not allowed to be made in your home for sale, and the legal and health department requirements and recommendations as you start your Cottage Food business.

Below is a list of foods allowed for sale by the Cottage Food Law. Time and temperature requirements include food that must be held below 41 degrees (cold) or above 135 (hot).
• Baked goods that do not require refrigeration, such as cakes, cookies, breads, and pastries. (No custards or cream fillings, etc.)
• Candy (including chocolate, chocolate-dipped pretzels, chocolate-dipped Oreos, etc.)
• Coated and uncoated nuts
• Unroasted nut butters
• Fruit butters
• Canned jams and jellies
• Fruit pies (including pecan pie)**
• Dehydrated fruits and vegetables including dried beans
• Popcorn and popcorn snacks
• Cereal, including granola
• Dry mixes
• Vinegar
• Pickles
• Mustard
• Roasted coffee or dry tea
• Dried herbs or herb mixes

*What are pickles?
Pickles are made from cucumbers that have been preserved in vinegar, brine, or a similar solution*.  Only pickled cucumbers are allowed under the Cottage Food Law.  All other pickled vegetables are prohibited.
*Pickles requiring refrigeration may not be sold by cottage food vendors. Pickles sold by Cottage Food businesses at the farmers market must be preserved using heat or pressure canning methods.

**Fruit Pies Permitted: High-acid fruit pies made of apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, orange, nectarine, tangerine, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, red currants, pecan or a combination of these fruits. The standard is high acid of 4.6pH and low water activity. Please contact us if you have questions. Products containing hydrogenated or trans fats are not allowed at the Lago Vista Farmers Market.

Now for the list of foods not allowed. These include custards, ice cream, meats, fish and more.

• Fresh or dried meat or meat products including jerky
• Canned fruits, vegetables, vegetable butters, salsas etc.
• Kolaches with meat
• Fish or shellfish products
• Canned pickled products such as corn relish and sauerkraut
• Raw seed sprouts
• Bakery goods which require any type of refrigeration such as cream, custard or meringue pies and cakes or pastries with cream cheese icings or fillings
• Milk and dairy products including hard, soft and cottage cheeses and yogurt
• Fresh fruits dipped or coated in chocolate or similar confections
• Fresh vegetables
• Juices made from fresh fruits or vegetables
• Ice or ice products
• Barbeque sauces and ketchups
• Foccaccia-style breads with vegetables or cheeses
• Chocolate covered graham crackers, Rice Krispy treats
• Dried pasta
• Sauerkraut, relishes, salsas, sorghum
• Lemonade, juices, hot chocolate or similar beverages

The Cottage Food Law requires labeling.  Please read the following and to view and example of an appropriate label.

• The name and address of the cottage food production operation;
• The common or usual name of the product, if a food is made with a major food allergen, such as eggs, nuts, soy, peanuts, milk or wheat that ingredient must be listed on the label; and
• A statement: “This food is made in a home kitchen and is not inspected by the Department of State Health Services or a local health department.”
• The labels must be legible.  This is a link to an example of an approved label

To read the law please go the the Texas Department of Health Services website.