Do I need a License to sell food from home in Alabama [ Alabama Cottage Foods Laws ]

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Do I need a License to sell food from home in Alabama [ Alabama Cottage Foods Laws ]

 

In 2014, Alabama passed a law known as SB 159 that regulates home-prepared foods. In the past, home growers could only sell food that did not require immediate consumption at farmer's markets.

An amendment known as SB 160 was passed in 2021, and it resulted in a significant expansion of the list of foods that were permitted, the removal of any sales cap, the authorization of online sales, and the facilitation of shipment within the state.

 

 

Do I need a License to sell food from home in Alabama [ Alabama Cottage Foods Laws ]



Direct sales of practically any form of non-perishable food are legal in Alabama, and there is no cap on the amount that can be sold. The producers are not allowed to sell their goods indirectly (for example, in grocery stores, restaurants, or wholesale), but they are permitted to ship their goods within the state of Alabama or pay someone else to do it on their behalf.

Before they are allowed to market their products, producers are required to complete a foundational food safety training course and receive approval from their respective local health departments.

Do I need a License to sell food from home in Alabama [ Alabama Cottage Foods Laws ]



Restrictions on the Kinds of Foods That Can Be Sold

BusinessLabelingWorkplaceResources

Forum\sSelling

Where can you sell the food that you've cooked at home?
Authorized Locations
Events
Farmers markets
HomeOnlineRoadside stands
Services That Are Allowed
Delivery
Home Pickup
Mail order
Locations That Are Not Allowed
Restaurants
Retail stores
Services That Are Not Allowed
Catering Wholesale
You are not only able to ship your products, but you also have the option of having a "agent," or someone who works on your behalf, deliver your things.



Do I need a License to sell food from home in Alabama [ Alabama Cottage Foods Laws ]




 
Foods That Are Allowed
What kinds of edible items may you offer from your own home?
BreadBagels
Biscuits
Breads
Brownies
Cake pops
Cakes
CookiesCupcakes
Donuts
Macarons
Muffins
Pizzelles
Rolls
Scones
Sweet breads
Tortillas
Cakes for weddings
Candy
Brittles
Frosting made with buttercream
Candies
Chocolate
Candied cotton candy
Fudge
Lollipops
Truffles
Condiments
HoneyKetchup
Mustards
Nut butters
Oils
Pickles
SalsasSauces
Syrups
Vinegars
Dry products
Cereals
Arabica Coffee Beans
Dried fruit
Dried veggies
Herbs
Mixes
Pasta noodles
A Variety of Seasonings and Spices
Tea leaves
OtherFermented\sfoods
Pastries
Churros
Cones
Danish
Empanadas
Additional Baked Goods
Pies
Tamales
Preserves
Foods that are acidic
Applesauce
Chutneys
Fruit butters
Jams & jellies
Marmalades
Additional Preserves
Snacks
Apples covered in candy
Caramel corn
Fruit that has been coated with chocolate
confections enrobed in chocolate
Crackers & Pretzels
Fruit tanned in leather
Granola
Corn on the cob
Marshmallows
Nuts & seeds
Popcorn
Chips made from vegetables
Foods That Are Not Allowed
cooked items that expire quickly
Foods in cans with a low acid content
Juices
Meat jerkies

 

 

Do I need a License to sell food from home in Alabama [ Alabama Cottage Foods Laws ]


There are most likely additional foods that are not allowed, but the ones listed above have been confirmed.
If you want to sell acidified foods such as pickles, you are required to send them to an authority (such as the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service) to have their pH levels measured.
If you want to sell freeze-dried foods, you are required to send them to a reputable institution (such as the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service) to have their water activity assessed.
It is required that all foods be "non-potentially hazardous," yet there are some non-PHFs that may not be permitted. The majority of foods that do not require refrigeration (items that do not contain meat, dairy, etc.) are not thought to pose any significant health risks. Find out more.
Limitations

 

Do I need a License to sell food from home in Alabama [ Alabama Cottage Foods Laws ]


How will regulations affect your in-home catering business?
Limitations
Commercial equipment forbidden
Prohibition on commercial kitchen use
Only retail via direct contact
Prohibition on sales across state lines
Home base or primary house
There are likely further restrictions, but the ones listed above have been verified.


There is no predetermined quota on sales.

What steps are required to start a food business from your own home?

Do I need a License to sell food from home in Alabama [ Alabama Cottage Foods Laws ]



Training in Food Safety

You are required to complete a food safety course, such as the food handler training course offered by Learn2Serve. This course has a cost of $7 and can be finished online in a couple of hours.

There is also the option of enrolling in the course offered by ACES, which is designed with Alabama home food producers in mind specifically. You won't be charged anything to watch the training videos, but there is a $25 price for the exam.



Business Review

Before beginning operations, you are need to obtain permission from the health department in your area.

The applications and fees are different in each county, but generally speaking, you will need to submit the following:

Evidence that you have successfully completed the food safety training
A sample label
A list of the items that you plan to sell in the future
Labeling
How should items involving cottage food be labelled?
Label Requirements
Location of the business
Business nameIngredients
Statement of the product name
Cookies with Chocolate Chips Bearing a Sample Label

This item is not subject to inspection by the Department of Public Health and so may contain allergens (10-pt type)



Harrys Cake Co. 

567 goodall street anywhere Al. 52104

Ingredients include enriched flour (made with wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid), butter (made with cream and salt), semi-sweet chocolate (made with sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, and natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (made with vanilla bean extract, alcohol, and sugar), baking soda, and (salt, calcium silicate)




You can use a post office box instead of your home address on your labels if you don't want to publicize that information.




Workplace

Are there any necessities necessary for a home kitchen?
This advice document on food safety includes a number of recommendations pertaining to the workplace.

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