Florida Cottage Food Law Update
The Cottage Food Law in Florida allows individuals to sell certain foods produced in a home kitchen. The foods must have a low risk of foodborne illness, as outlined in Section 500.80 of the Florida Statutes. Cottage foods cannot be sold wholesale and can only be sold in the State of Florida. Operators must properly package and label all cottage foods; in addition to free samples for tasting.
On July 1, 2017, the Cottage Food Law was amended. The annual gross sales of cottage food products allowed under the law increased from $15,000 to $50,000. Producers can now sell, offer for sale, and accept payment over the Internet. The product must be delivered in person directly to the consumer, or to a specific event venue.
You Cannot Hire Help as a Cottage Food Operator in Florida
Many cottage food operators in Florida are not aware that hiring temporary help is not allowed. However, according to an Environmental Specialist with the Florida Department of Agriculture, cottage food operators cannot hire employees of any type, not temporary, full-time, part-time or volunteers. You must do all of the work yourself and if you deliver your product, you must deliver it yourself. Cottage Food production is not regulated, CFO’s produce small-batch products, low volume and permits are not required. The Florida Cottage Food Law does not allow anyone to produce the food except the cottage food operator. Doesn’t sound fair, does it? The Cottage Food Law is designed to help creative food entrepreneurs make extra money. A Cottage Food Operation is seen as a stepping stone; in the event, the business grows into a more profitable business, there for hiring help should never be seen as a necessity.
Review the Florida Cottage Food Law document and contact them at 850-245-5520 if you have questions.
The State of Florida provides a thorough overview of what is allowed as a Cottage Food Operator.
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