Can you sell food without a license in NC

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Can you sell food without a license in NC






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Selling Homemade Food in North Carolina: Everything You Need to Know

I. Introduction

The homemade or "cottage food" industry is a growing trend across the United States, including North Carolina. This movement fits within a larger trend toward healthy eating and responsible sourcing, as consumers take greater interest in where their food comes from and who makes it. North Carolina does not have specific laws for selling homemade food, but the state's Food and Drug Protection Division allows home-based food businesses to operate.




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II. Selling Homemade Food in North Carolina: The Details

A. Food Varieties in North Carolina

North Carolina cottage food producers may sell "low-risk packaged foods." Examples include baked goods, jams, jellies, candies, dried mixes, and spices. They may also sell shelf-stable pickles, acidified foods, sauces, and some liquids, but these foods require laboratory testing.







B. Sales and Venue Restrictions, Can you sell food without a license in NC

North Carolina cottage food producers may sell their products at almost any venue, including online to buyers within state limits. Other allowable venues include homes, farmers’ markets, roadside stands, special events, and retail outlets like grocery stores and restaurants.

C. Regulatory Burdens

North Carolina cottage food producers must complete a long application process, which includes a home inspection. Prior to inspection, they must create a detailed business plan, check local permitting and zoning information, create labels, and provide a copy of a recent water bill.








Can you sell food without a license in NC

D. North Carolina Cottage Food Labels

North Carolina cottage foods must be packaged to protect them from contamination. A label must be affixed to the package, showing the product name, the manufacturer’s name and address, the net weight of the product in ounces/pounds, and the gram weight equivalent. Labels also must include a complete list of ingredients in order of predominance by weight.

E. Cottage Food Facts

Cottage food is safe, local, transparent, and creates jobs. Many homemade food producers use their income to provide for their families. Others seek a secondary or supplemental income. Cottage food also empowers women and expands consumer choice.











III. Advantages of Homemade Food

Homemade food offers numerous benefits. It supports the local economy, provides job opportunities, and promotes transparency in food sourcing. It also caters to various dietary needs, filling market gaps and giving consumers more options.

IV. Cottage Food Resources

The Institute for Justice provides a variety of resources for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs. These include the Model Food Freedom Act, Flour Power: How Cottage Food Entrepreneurs Are Using Their Home Kitchens to Become Their Own Bosses, Ready to Roll, and The Attack on Food Freedom, Can you sell food without a license in NC