Cottage Food

What is a Cottage Food Operation?

A Cottage Food Operation (CFO) is an enterprise at a private home where specific low-risk food products, which do not require refrigeration, are prepared or repackaged for sale. A Cottage Food Operator is an individual who operates a CFO in his or her private home and is the owner of the CFO. 

Cottage Food Information

Various jars of jam on a shelf with labels and cloth covering their lids with a bow.
  1. Approved Foods
  2. Food Handlers Card
  3. Labeling
  4. Water Supply & Sewage
  5. Zoning
  6. Other Requirements
  7. FAQ's on Cottage Food

Before you start the application process, please look over the Approved Food List from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and make sure the foods you wish to make are on this list. 

Foods containing cream, custard, or meat fillings are considered potentially hazardous and are not allowed. Only foods that are defined as non-potentially hazardous are approved for preparation by a CFO. Non-potentially hazardous foods are items that do not require refrigeration to keep them safe from bacterial growth that could cause food-borne illnesses. 

Application Process

  1. Application
  2. After Approval

Before filling out an application, please review the CFO Self Certification Checklist to ensure that you meet all of the above requirements.

Once you have gone through the necessary items, you can apply for a permit.

There are two types of Cottage Food Permits:

  • Class ADirect sales to consumer only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Annual Permit Fee:  $218.37
  • Class BDirect sales and indirect sales to food facilities . . . . . . . . Annual Permit Fee:  $436.74
  • Cottage Food Water System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Annual Permit Fee:  $218.37

Note: The fees above are for Environmental Health only, other fees may be required by other entities including but not limited to Planning Departments, Fire Departments, Event Coordinators, Business Licences, etc.

Out of County Cottage Food Operation

Out of County Cottage Food Operations that wish to operate in a Community Event are required to submit a Temporary Food Facility Application  AND obtain label approval by submitting the Label Review Form and pay applicable fees. 

Cottage Food Fees

Annual Permit - Class A$218.37
Annual Permit - Class B$436.74
Annual Permit - Cottage Food Water System$218.37
Label Review 1-10 Labels$109.19
Each Additional Label$8.00