Cottage Foods vs. Manufactured Wholesale Foods
What are Cottage Foods?
Since 2011, Arkansas has allowed people to sell some food items direct to the public under the Cottage Food Law. According to Act 72 of 2011, a “Cottage Food Production Operation” means a person who produces food items in the person’s home that are not potentially hazardous foods. These cottage foods are specific types of food that are made in home kitchens and can only be sold directly to the consumer. However, not all foods can be made at home and sold to the public.
The list of allowable foods in Arkansas include:
- Bakery products
- Fruit butters, jams, jellies
- Chocolate-covered fruit and berries that are not cut
NOTE: Bakery products, jams, jellies and fruit butter made with splenda and similar sugar substitutes are considered potentially hazardous food and are not considered Cottage Food products.
- Learn about what Arkansas' law allows by watching this April 2019 webinar, Arkansas Cottage Food Law with the Arkansas Health Department
- Read Answers to Common Cottage Food Law Questions to see frequently asked questions about Cottage Foods.
People with questions about a specific food item should call the Environmental Health Specialist at their local health department (also known as the local health unit).
The Health Department has also published these two documents that reference Arkansas’ Cottage Food law:
How do Cottage Food Laws differ from state to state?
Some states have specific laws while others are vague. However, they all have one thing in common: the foods are typically non-hazardous.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Cottage Food laws differ from state to state, listen to the June 2018 webinar, Cottage Food Laws: Adequately Addressing Food Safety and Economic Opportunity?. You can find a PDF of their Powerpoint presentation here.
What are Wholesale Manufactured Foods?
Manufactured foods require a higher level of food safety standards due to potential hazards that could cause food illnesses. Food products not approved on the Cottage Food Guide are considered "Manufactured Foods". Some examples include:
- Pickles, salsas and sauces
- Dried fruit and vegetables
- Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables
- Hummus, nut butters and dips
- Baked goods with cheese fillings
These items will need to be approved and made in a facility inspected and permitted as a "Manufactured/Wholesale Food Establishment" by the Arkansas Department of Health.
The Share Grounds facilities are permitted by the Arkansas Department of Health and are a space available to clients who want to develop, test and produce manufactured food products. Visit our Share Grounds webpage and contact your local Share Grounds manager for more information.
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