Want to start a cottage food business in Ohio? Curious about the laws and regulations you need to follow? Look no further!

In this article, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of cottage food laws in Ohio. You’ll discover what homemade goods you can sell, the labeling requirements you must meet, the permits and licenses you’ll need, and much more.

Get ready to turn your culinary creations into a successful business venture!

Key Takeaways

  • Cottage food laws in Ohio govern the sale of homemade food products directly to consumers.
  • Cottage food sales are limited to specific products such as baked goods, candies, jams, and jellies.
  • Only non-potentially hazardous foods can be sold under Ohio’s cottage food laws.
  • Labeling requirements include providing accurate nutrition information, labeling allergens, and ensuring clear and legible information on the packaging.

Understanding Cottage Food Laws in Ohio

If you want to start a cottage food business in Ohio, it’s important to understand the cottage food laws in the state. The cottage food regulations in Ohio govern the sale of homemade food products directly to consumers.

These laws allow individuals to sell certain types of food items from their homes or at local farmers markets without having to meet the same requirements as commercial food establishments. However, there are some restrictions and guidelines that must be followed.

For instance, cottage food sales are limited to specific products such as baked goods, candies, jams, and jellies. Additionally, there may be labeling requirements and limitations on where and how these products can be sold.

It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure compliance and the success of your cottage food business in Ohio.

Types of Homemade Goods Allowed for Sale

Now let’s talk about the types of homemade goods that are allowed for sale under Ohio’s cottage food laws.

There are certain homemade food items that are permitted to be sold, but there may be restrictions on their sale as well.

It’s important to understand what these permitted items are and any limitations that may apply.

Permitted Homemade Food Items

You can sell a variety of homemade food items in Ohio, including baked goods, jams, jellies, and candies. These are some of the permitted homemade food items that you can make and sell under Ohio’s cottage food laws.

Baked goods such as cookies, cakes, breads, and pastries are popular choices among home-based food entrepreneurs. Jams and jellies made from fruits like strawberries, peaches, and blueberries are also allowed. Additionally, you can sell homemade candies such as fudge, chocolates, and caramels.

These permitted homemade food items offer a wide range of options for those looking to start a cottage food business in Ohio. It’s important to note that there may be certain restrictions or requirements for labeling and packaging these homemade goods, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in your area.

Restrictions on Sale

You can only sell homemade goods that are included in the list of permitted food items under Ohio’s cottage food laws. These laws restrict the types of homemade goods that can be sold to ensure public safety and prevent the sale of potentially hazardous foods.

The selling restrictions aim to protect consumers by limiting the sale of certain products that may pose a higher risk of foodborne illnesses. Ohio’s cottage food exemptions specify that only non-potentially hazardous foods can be sold, such as baked goods, jams, jellies, and certain types of candies.

However, items like meat, dairy products, and homemade canned goods aren’t allowed for sale under the cottage food laws. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines and restrictions outlined in Ohio’s cottage food laws before starting your homemade goods business.

Labeling Requirements for Cottage Food Products

When selling cottage food products in Ohio, you must ensure that the labeling meets the state’s requirements. Proper labeling is crucial to inform consumers about the product and ensure their safety.

Here are the key aspects to consider when labeling your cottage food products:

  • Nutrition Information: If you make any health claims on your product, such as ‘low-fat’ or ‘gluten-free,’ you must provide accurate nutrition information. This includes the number of calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, and any other relevant nutrients.
  • Allergen Labeling: It’s essential to clearly label if your product contains common allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, or fish. This information is crucial for individuals with food allergies, allowing them to make informed choices and avoid potential health risks.
  • Clear and Legible: Ensure that all labeling information is clear and legible, including the product name, ingredients, and contact information. Use easy-to-read fonts and ensure that the labels are securely attached to the packaging.

Permits and Licenses Needed for Selling Homemade Goods

To sell homemade goods in Ohio, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses. The state of Ohio has specific regulations, known as cottage food regulations, that govern the sale of homemade food products. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety and quality of the goods being sold.

Before starting your homemade goods business, you must contact your local health department to determine the specific permits and licenses you need to acquire. These requirements may vary depending on the county or city where you plan to operate.

Some common permits and licenses include a food service operation license, a food handler’s permit, and a vendor’s license. It’s important to comply with all the necessary permits and licenses to avoid any legal issues and to ensure the success of your homemade goods business.

Food Safety Guidelines for Cottage Food Businesses

Now let’s talk about the food safety guidelines you need to follow for your cottage food business in Ohio.

First, it’s important to understand the labeling requirements for your products, ensuring that all necessary information is clearly stated.

Additionally, proper food storage is crucial to maintain the quality and safety of your goods.

Labeling Requirements for Products

You should include specific information on your product labels to comply with the labeling requirements for cottage food businesses in Ohio.

Here are some important things to consider when labeling your products:

  • Packaging regulations:
  • Your product labels should be clear and legible.
  • The label should be securely attached to the packaging and not easily removable.
  • The label shouldn’t make any false claims or misrepresent the product.
  • Allergen labeling:
  • If your product contains any of the major food allergens, such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, or shellfish, you must clearly state this on the label.
  • You should also include a statement that your product was prepared in a kitchen that may contain allergens.
  • Ingredient listing:
  • List all the ingredients used in your product in descending order of predominance by weight.

Proper Food Storage

Make sure to properly store food to comply with food safety guidelines for cottage food businesses in Ohio. Proper food storage is essential for maintaining the quality and safety of your products. Follow these best practices for food preservation to ensure that your cottage food business operates in accordance with regulations.

Firstly, it’s crucial to store perishable foods, such as dairy products and meats, in the refrigerator at temperatures below 40°F. This helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Additionally, keep dry goods, like flour and sugar, in a cool, dry place to prevent spoilage and maintain their freshness.

Furthermore, make sure to store foods in airtight containers to prevent contamination and extend their shelf life. Label each container with the product name and date of preparation for easy identification and rotation.

Selling Cottage Food Online in Ohio

If you want to sell your cottage food online in Ohio, there are certain regulations you need to be aware of. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Licensing and Registration: Before you start selling cottage food on social media or any online platform, you must obtain the necessary licenses and registrations. This includes obtaining a cottage food production operation license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
  • Labeling Requirements: All your homemade goods must be properly labeled with specific information, such as the ingredients used, any potential allergens, and the address and contact information of your business.
  • Marketing Guidelines: When marketing your homemade goods online, make sure to comply with advertising laws. Avoid making false or misleading claims about the safety or health benefits of your products, and accurately represent your products in your online listings or advertisements.

Selling at Farmers Markets and Events

To sell your cottage food at farmers markets and events in Ohio, you’ll need to comply with specific regulations. Selling at farmers markets is a great way to reach a wider customer base and showcase your homemade products.

However, before you can set up shop at these markets, you must first obtain the necessary permits and licenses. The Ohio Department of Agriculture oversees the regulations for selling cottage food products at farmers markets and special events. They require you to complete an application, pay a fee, and undergo an inspection of your facilities.

Additionally, you must clearly label your products with certain information, such as the name of the product and your contact information.

Tips for Starting a Successful Cottage Food Business in Ohio

When starting a successful cottage food business in Ohio, it’s important to carefully plan and research the market. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Identify your target market: Determine who your ideal customers are and what their preferences and needs are.
  • Develop a unique selling proposition: Differentiate yourself from competitors by offering something unique or focusing on a specific niche.
  • Create a strong brand: Invest in professional and eye-catching branding that reflects the quality and values of your products.
  • Build an online presence: Utilize social media platforms and a website to showcase your products and engage with potential customers.
  • Leverage local partnerships: Collaborate with other local businesses, such as coffee shops or specialty stores, to expand your reach.
  • Attend local events and markets: Participate in farmers markets and food festivals to gain exposure and interact with customers.
  • Offer samples and promotions: Provide free samples and discounts to entice customers to try your products.
  • Obtain necessary licenses and permits: Ensure you comply with Ohio’s cottage food laws and obtain any required licenses or permits.


So, if you’re looking to start a cottage food business in Ohio, it’s important to understand the state’s laws and regulations.

Make sure you know what types of homemade goods are allowed for sale and the labeling requirements for your products.

Additionally, be aware of the permits and licenses needed and follow food safety guidelines.

Whether you plan to sell online or at farmers markets and events, following these tips can help you start a successful cottage food business in Ohio.

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