Can I Sell Food From my Home in Alabama

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Can I Sell Food From my Home in Alabama





Alabama has a cottage food law (SB 159) enacted in 2014. Prior to the law, only non-perishable homemade food could be sold at farmers' markets. The law was amended (SB 160) in 2021 and greatly expanded the list of permitted foods, removed the sales limit, allowed online sales, and in-state shipping.





Can I Sell Food From my Home in Alabama

Almost any type of non-perishable food can be sold directly, without any limit on sales. However, producers cannot sell their food indirectly through venues such as grocery stores, restaurants, or wholesale. They can, however, ship their products within Alabama or hire someone to deliver them.

Before starting to sell their products, producers need to take a basic food safety training course and obtain approval from their local health department.

Selling Venues:

  • Events
  • Farmers' markets
  • Home
  • Online
  • Roadside stands

Selling Services:

  • Delivery
  • Home pickup
  • Mail order

Can I Sell Food From my Home in Alabama

Prohibited Venues:

  • Restaurants
  • Retail stores

Prohibited Services:

  • Catering
  • Wholesale

Allowed Foods:

  • Bread
  • Bagels
  • Biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Cupcakes
  • Donuts
  • Macarons
  • Muffins
  • Pizzelles
  • Scones
  • Sweet rolls
  • Tortillas
  • Buttercream fudges
  • Cotton candy
  • Chocolate
  • Fudge
  • Lollipops
  • Truffles
  • Honey
  • Ketchup
  • Mustards
  • Nut butters
  • Oils
  • Dried fruits
  • Salsas
  • Coffee beans
  • Dried cereals
  • Pasta noodles
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Tea leaves
  • Other fermented foods
  • Pastries
  • Churros
  • Acidified foods
  • Fruit butters
  • Jams and preserves
  • Other fruit sauces
  • Candied apples
  • Caramel corn
  • Chocolate-covered fruit
  • Crackers and pretzels
  • Kettle corn
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Vegetable chips

Prohibited Foods:

Can I Sell Food From my Home in Alabama

Note: Acidified foods, such as pickles, must be tested for pH by an authority like the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. Freeze-dried foods must be tested for water activity by an authority like the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. Only non-potentially hazardous foods are allowed, however, some non-PHFs may still be prohibited. Most foods that do not require refrigeration are considered non-potentially hazardous.


To start a home food business in Alabama, producers need to:

  • Take a food safety course, such as the "Learn2Serve" food handler training course (\$7, online) or the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service's course (free training videos, \$25 exam fee).
  • Obtain approval from their local health department
  • Submit proof of completed food safety training
  • Provide a sample label
  • Submit a list of the products they intend to sell

Can I Sell Food From my Home in Alabama

Can I Sell Food From my Home in Alabama

Label Requirements:

Sample Label: "Chocolate Chip Cookies" "This food may contain allergens and is not inspected by the Department of Public Health (10-point type


Workplace Requirements

In Alabama, cottage food operations must be conducted in a primary residence. Producers are not allowed to use commercial kitchens or commercial equipment. It is recommended to have a dedicated area for food production that is separate from the main living area and to keep the area clean and free of pets.

It is also recommended to have proper food storage facilities such as refrigeration, freezers, and pantry shelves. A sink with hot and cold running water is also recommended for handwashing and cleaning.


For more information and guidance on selling homemade food in Alabama, producers can consult the following resources:

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES)
  • Alabama Department of Public Health
  • Learn2Serve’s food handler training course
  • Local health departments in their county

Can I Sell Food From my Home in Alabama


There are also online forums and communities where producers can connect with other cottage food businesses and exchange information and advice. Examples include online food business groups on Facebook, Reddit, and other social media platforms.

In conclusion, Alabama has a cottage food law that allows producers to sell almost any type of non-perishable homemade food directly to consumers. Producers must take a food safety training course and get approved by their local health department before starting their business. They must follow certain labeling requirements and workplace recommendations. For more information and guidance, producers can consult various resources and forums available to them.