Colorado Cottage Foods Rulemaking

Cottage Food Bill will soon include pickled vegetables!

In 2015, WCC organized to expand the Colorado Cottage Foods Act. The law instructs the Colorado Board of Health to create rules to govern the production and sale of “pickled vegetables”.
Until these rules are finalized, it is not yet legal to produce “pickled vegetables” under the law

WCC is organizing to make sure the final rules work for producers!

Here’s how you can help:

The stakeholder process is winding down and we’ve made great progress on rules that will work for small batch producers. The State Health Department will present a final draft rule to the Colorado Board of Health in May with a public hearing expected sometime in July.

Colorado’s Cottage Food Act

Organizing works!

WCC members and allied organizations talked with their state legislators and in 2012, Senator Gail Schwartz introduced the Colorado Cottage Food Act. The bill sailed through the legislature with bipartisan support in 2012 and our state joined at least forty-two others that allow the sale of cottage foods.

The Cottage Food Law is a commonsense measure that promotes economic development in Colorado communities, supports locally grown and prepared foods, and generates income for small producers.

We hope you’ll join us as we continue our efforts to support the growth of a vibrant Cottage Foods Industry in Colorado!

Two pieces of legislation passed in 2015 that create opportunities for growth in the Cottage Foods Industry.

Senate Bill 15-085
This bill doubles the annual cap on the amount of net revenue a producer can make per eligible product from $5,000 to $10,000. In addition, the bill clarified the definition of “producer” to include individual residents of Colorado AND Colorado Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) with two or fewer members.

House Bill 15-1102
WCC won our legislative campaign to add more products to the law! House Bill 1102 categorizes these products into two tiers.

Tier one includes everything under the original bill and adds flour, tortillas and fruit empanadas. Tier two products will include “pickled vegetables.”  The law instructs the Colorado Board of Health to create rules to govern the production and sale of tier two products. Until these rules are finalized, it is not yet legal to produce “pickled vegetables” under the law.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Colorado Cottage Foods Act?

The Cottage Foods Act allows Colorado residents to make and sell certain non-potentially hazardous foods that are produced in a home, commercial, private or public kitchen. All foods must be sold directly to the ultimate consumer. NEW in 2015 Rules to govern the production and sale of pickled vegetables will be established by the CO Board of Health.

How do producers qualify to sell cottage foods?

Producers are required to take a food safety course that includes basic food handling training and is comparable to or given by CSU extension service or a state, county or district public health agency. Producers are responsible for collecting and submitting applicable sales tax.  Producers are encouraged, but not required, to purchase adequate liability insurance for their business. See Training Requirements (need to create anchor to “Training Requirements” below) below for more specific information.

Where can cottage foods producers sell their goods?

Goods can be sold on the producer’s premises, at a roadside stand, farmers market, Community Supported Agriculture organization, or similar venue where the product is sold direct to consumers but not to grocery stores or restaurants.
NEW in 2015  Producers must display a placard at the point os sale with the following disclaimer: This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection. This product is not intended for resale.

How much can producers sell? NEW in 2015

Colorado residents can earn up to $10,000 net revenue per year for each eligible item. For example, $10,000 from wheat bread, $10,000 from sourdough bread, $10,000 from cherry preserves and $10,000 from peach preserves.  Producers can also sell up to 250 dozen farm fresh eggs per month direct to consumers.

What kinds of food can be produced and sold?  NEW in 2015

Food items produced and sold under the Cottage Foods Act are limited to candies, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butter, dehydrated fruits and veggies, spices, teas, nuts, seeds, flour, fruit empanadas, certain baked goods & farm fresh eggs, with additional rules. Pickled vegetables after rules have been established by CO Board of Health.

What are the requirements for selling eggs under the Cottage Foods Act?

Producers can also sell up to 250 dozen farm fresh eggs per month directly to consumers.  Eggs must bear the following information on an affixed label:

1) The address where the eggs originated

2) The date when eggs were packaged

3) The following disclaimer exactly as written: “Safe Handling Instructions: To prevent illness from bacteria, keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook any foods containing eggs thoroughly. These eggs do not come from a government-approved source.”

What are the labeling requirements for cottage food products?

Cottage food products must have an affixed label that includes all of the following information:











Additional Resources

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment:

Check here for latest information. Includes fact sheets, a producer brochure and eligibility checklist. For specific questions, contact the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability at (303) 692-3645.

Colorado Farm to Market Website:

Includes food safety training options (see below), business planning resources, a how to guide, recorded webinar and more.

CSU Extension Farm To Table Food Safety:

Includes Cottage Foods Product Information Sheets and additional food safety resources.

Training Requirements

The Colorado Cottage Foods Act states:

“A producer must take a food safety course that includes basic food handling training and is comparable to, or is a course given by, the Colorado state university extension service or a state, county, or district public health agency, and must maintain a status of good standing in accordance with the course requirements, including attending any additional classes if necessary.”

Training Resources

Face-to-Face Training

Food Safety Training for Cottage Food Producers. Offered by CSU Extension. Three year certification. Contact your local extension office for more information. Cost: ($20 - $30  varies)

Contact your local public health agency for information about local food handler training classes.

ServSafe® Manager Certification. Face-to-face trainings and/or proctoring for certification exam. Five year certification, Cost: $120 and up.

Online Training online food handler training offered on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) website. Two year certification. Length: 90 minutes, Cost: $10

CSU’s “Developing a Safe Food Business Certificate” online course

ServSafe® Food Handler online certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation