Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

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Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio



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Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

 To market your home-made foods in Ohio in 2022, you need to know the state's cottage food laws and regulations. A list of links is located at the bottom of this page. This page also offers clear, simple-to-follow, and illustrated instructions for canning, freezing, making jam, salsa, and pickling if you bring home some fruit or veggies that you want to preserve. A list of more useful links can be found by selecting "Resources" from the drop-down menu above. I've used them and they're a terrific price, plus they ship in just two days, if you're having difficulties obtaining canning lids.

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Ohio cottage food laws, regulations, and information
Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio
According to Ohio's cottage food law, you are not need to obtain a license or have your products inspected in order to prepare and sell some low-risk foods out of your home kitchen.

Which goods are covered by the Ohio Cottage Food Law?

The term "cottage food" only refers to non-potentially hazardous foods (as determined by the State of Ohio, not by you). A list of the foods that can be sold as "cottage food products" is provided in Section 901:3-20-04 of the Ohio Administrative Code.

foods to avoid
The following foods are included in the lengthy list of permitted items:

Bakery products that are not harmful (such as cookies, breads, brownies, cakes, and fruit pies)
Fruit jams, jellies, and butters (like apple butter)
Candy (includes no-bake cookies, chocolate-covered pretzels, and other similar non-perishable chocolate-covered foods) (including no-bake cookies, chocolate covered pretzels or similar chocolate covered non-perishable items)


Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

Granola, granola bars, and candy-dipped granola bars

Variety packs of popcorn, kettle corn, popcorn balls, and caramel corn (does not include un-popped popping corn)

Some baked foods, such as Pizzelles, Waffle cones, and baked donuts without filling

Snack mixtures with nuts, spices, and dry cereal

blends of dry tea and roasted coffee, whether they are whole or ground

container of dry baking ingredients (for making items like breads and cookies)
Dry herbs and herbal blends
Combination of dry spice (such as dry barbeque rubs and seafood boils)
Added since January 22, 2016 are the following:
Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

Beekeeper-produced flavor-infused honey, provided that at least 75% of it originates from the beekeeper's own hives;

fruit preserves;

if at least 75% of the sap used to manufacture maple syrup originates directly from the trees and is collected by the company, the maple sugar produced by that company will qualify as maple sugar;

waffle cones with candy coating;

Dry soup mixes contain commercially-dried veggies, beans, grains, and seasonings.
More information is provided on this OSU Extension webpage.
What is off limits
In essence, if it's not on the above list, it's not authorized. More details are provided below. For instance, the following cannot be produced and sold at home:



Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

Low-acid foods that have had acids or acid foods added to them are referred to as acidified foods (Ex. Beans, cucumbers, cabbage, puddings, etc.).

meals in cans with less acid. Low acid foods are those that have a completed equilibrium pH more than 4.6 and a water activity greater than 0.85.

Food that may be hazardous must be stored at a specific temperature to prevent the rapid and steady growth of poisonous or harmful germs. This includes frozen meals, canned vegetables, raw or cooked animal products, cooked vegetables, garlic in oil, cheesecakes, pumpkin pies, custard pies, cream pies, salsas, and BBQ sauces.

Additionally, recent amendments make it apparent that the following foods are likewise prohibited, therefore the cottage food regulation does not apply to them:

Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

fresh fruit that has been coated, dipped, or combined with candy in some other manner;

popping corn.

Granola products with fruit (If adding fruit to granola, granola bars, or granola bars dipped in candy, which are all cottage food products, the fruit must be commercially dried.)


A "Cottage Food Production Operation" is a person who produces non-potentially hazardous foods in their home, such as baked products, jams, jellies, sweets, fruit butter, and other items that are included in the guidelines, according to Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3715. These foods will be referred to be misbranded or adulterated if they don't have the proper labels.

""Home" refers to the primary dwelling of the residence's owner, provided that there is just one stove or oven for cooking in the home, which may be a double oven, that is made for regular household use and not for commercial use, and that it is used in a typical kitchen.

A canned food that has a pH of 4.6 or less naturally (without the addition of acid) is considered to have a high acid content. For instance, items prepared using tomatoes.



Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

By adding an acid or an acid food, a low-acid food has become more acidic. as in pickles

If a canned food's pH is greater than 4.6 and its water activity is greater than 0.85, it is considered to be low in acid. For instance, green beans.

All foods that are acidic, low-acid canned foods, foods that could be toxic, and additional items that are not specified above but could still be problematic are prohibited. Low acid foods are those that have a completed equilibrium pH more than 4.6 and a water activity greater than 0.85. A low-acid food is said to be "acidified" by the addition of acids or acidic meals (Ex. Beans, cucumbers, cabbage, puddings, etc.). Food that may be hazardous must be stored at a specific temperature to prevent the rapid and steady growth of potentially harmful or deadly germs (Ex. Raw or cooked animal products, cooked vegetables, garlic in oil, cheese cakes, pumpkin pies, custard pies, cream pies, etc.).

Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

Salsas, barbecue sauces, canned vegetables, frozen goods, and handmade hummus, for instance, all need to be produced in a licensed facility. Salsas, barbecue sauces, and canned vegetables in particular must be produced in licensed canneries. On the website of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, you may find information on how to apply for different kinds of food permits.

Eggs are a another matter. To find out how to sell eggs in Ohio, visit this link.

Here's what to do if your food doesn't meet the criteria for "cottage food":

Never give up trying. Although you might have to start from scratch, you might still be able to manufacture and sell it as a business.

The first option is to see if you can hire a space at a nearby commercial kitchen.

If that doesn't work, your second option might be to locate someone to assist you in preparing the food.
For details on how to market foods that don't fall under the category of "cottage food," see this page.

Labeling specifications
All food produced by small-scale food production companies must have the proper information on the labels before it is sold or distributed for free. There must be particular information on each label.
You can discover label criteria, label samples, and a template to use on this page.

Where are cottage food production operations able to sell their products?
Products made in a rural area cannot be sold in other states. They can only be bought and sold in Ohio. They might go for sale.

directly to the consumer from the place where the goods are produced.
by way of supermarkets
licensed farmers' markets,
farmers markets with registration, and
These items are sold and/or used to prepare food at restaurants.

How to choose anything

Here is how to choose if you want to create a food product at home in Ohio:

Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

You don't need a license to prepare food that falls under Ohio's definition of "cottage foods." (However, you must abide by the other regulations, which include the ones regarding labeling, where you can sell, etc.)

If the food item is not a "cottage food," is it a "home bakery" item?

You must obtain a license and pass a home kitchen inspection if your business qualifies as a home bakery.

You cannot create a food product at home if it is neither a "cottage food" nor a "home bakery" product. In a licensed kitchen, you could prepare the meal yourself, or you could hire someone else to do it.

Information on foods in cans:

No of where the food is sold, all canning operations are licensed and inspected by the ODA, FS. All facilities are required to abide by Good Manufacturing Practices. The lone exception, as previously indicated, is a home-based business producing jams, jellies, or fruit butter. The following guidelines apply if your canned food does not fall under one of the aforementioned exceptions:

Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

Before phoning the Division of Food Safety to request an inspection if you are creating a canned food that is naturally high in acid, you must test it to determine the pH.

You must attend Better Process Control School, have your product reviewed by a process authority, register with the FDA as a cannery, and file your process with the FDA before you can call ODA, FS for an inspection. You can reach the division by dialing 614-728-6250.

Information on Better Process Control School may be found at

If a person has extensive knowledge of the food manufacturing process, the FDA will recognize them as a process authority. To speak with someone at the Division of Food Safety, contact 614-728-6250.

To register as a cannery with the FDA, go to

To submit a procedure to the FDA, go to


Even if they aren't necessary, the following actions are recommended. This is due to the fact that it is logical, a good idea, and will lessen your liability.

Both managers and employees should attend ServSafe® training sessions. You may get the textbook for this course in its 7th edition here.
measuring pH
Use a pH meter that has been calibrated on the same day that it is being used. This one works well and is reasonably priced, so I use it.

If the product typically has a pH of 4.0 or below and the paper's range runs up to 4.6, litmus paper, which has a narrow pH range, can be used instead.

Do I need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio

Record-keeping is advised.
For each batch of merchandise you sell, keep a written record that includes:
Detailed recipe with a list of ingredients
How much was sold and canned
Date of canning
When and where will sales take place
gross sales tally
The pH of every test
Even though inspections are not necessary, here are some things to consider:

Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade food in Ohio
Utilize pristine equipment that has been well cleaned before usage.
Clean the work surfaces both before and after usage, and then disinfect them with bleach water.
Mixing components with other whole foods is not recommended.
Keep animals out of the working area.
Clean the floors and walls.

Put out enough light.

To keep bugs out, make sure the screens on your windows and doors are in good repair.

While working, hands should be often washed.

You might wish to test the water once a year if you utilize a private well.