This post was written by FLPC student Regina Paparo.
The Harvard Law School and Policy Clinic (FLPC) announces the release of Cottage Foods and Home Cooking Fifty-State Survey of Laws. Following 2021, a year that saw a record 51 unique pieces of legislation on cottage food operations and home kitchens introduced across the U.S., this table provides an overview of current cottage food and home kitchens laws in each state.
This table, updating our detailed 2018 report “Cottage Food Laws in the United States,” is intended to serve as a guide for home cooks, policymakers, and advocates, to provide an at-a-glance guide to cottage food and home kitchen laws throughout the country. While this table does not provide legal advice on starting a cottage food business or home kitchen, it provides a useful starting point for understanding generally what is allowed in each state, the similarities and differences between state cottage food and home kitchen laws, and how states and their legislators are supporting cottage food producers and home cooks.
The table contains information organized according to state, including foods allowed, whether the state requires permitting, licensing, registration, an initial inspection, or a food safety course, as well as whether there are any sales or revenue caps. The table also notes any sales or delivery restrictions and whether any specific labels are required. Finally, for purposes of comparison, the table broadly categorizes each state’s law into cottage food, food freedom, home kitchen, or home bakery laws.