All across the United States, Americans are making food at home to sell in their communities. Together, they form a small but growing industry—the homemade or “cottage food” industry. The 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. Missouri expanded opportunities for cottage food producers in 2014 with the passage of Missouri Senate Bill 525. Prior to the legislative reform, selling homemade food was illegal in most Missouri counties.
Missouri cottage food types
Many states regulate cottage food, meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Missouri cottage food producers may sell “non-potentially hazardous processed food,” which means foods that do not require time or temperature control for safety. Examples include breads, cookies, fruit pies, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butters, honey, sorghum, cracked nuts, packaged spices and spice mixes. Missouri cottage food producers may sell dry cookie, cake, bread and soup mixes. Missouri cottage food producers may not sell low-acid canned and acidified foods, including pickles, salsas and ketchups. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services provides additional guidelines…
Missouri cottage food venues
Missouri cottage food producers must sell their goods directly to the end consumer at farmers’ markets, roadside stands and special events. The state also allows home delivery and pickup. Missouri cottage food producers may not sell their products online or wholesale through retailers like grocery stores and restaurants.
Getting started in Missouri
Missouri cottage food producers do not need a government permit, inspection or training to get started, although local jurisdictions may require a business license. Missouri cottage food producers may not exceed $50,000 in gross annual sales.
Missouri cottage food labels
Missouri cottage food producers must package their goods with labels stating the name and address of the manufacturer, the product name, the ingredients in descending order of predominance, the net weight of the food, and a statement that the product is prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to inspection by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. It is recommended that honey manufacturers include this additional statement: “Honey is not recommended for infants less than 12 months of age.” Missouri cottage food producers must display a clearly visible placard at the point of sale, stating that the food is prepared in a kitchen not subject to state inspection.
Missouri cottage food facts
Myths about cottage food abound. Here are the facts:
Missouri cottage food resources
As part of its Food Freedom Initiative, the Institute for Justice provides a variety of resources for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs. These include:
Tell your Missouri story
Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Missouri? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here…
Support Missouri legislation
Help expand cottage food laws in Missouri by teaming with the Institute for Justice. Send an email with your name, background information and availability to get started…
Defending homemade food freedom nationwide
People have a right to earn an honest living without arbitrary and excessive government interference. Since 2013, the Institute for Justice has defended home bakers and chefs as part of its Food Freedom Initiative. Read about IJ’s nationwide food freedom advocacy…
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All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Statutes, regulations, and processes are subject to change at any time, and specific facts and circumstances could alter how they are applied. If you have questions about the regulation of cottage foods in your jurisdiction, we recommend consulting a lawyer who can help you navigate the process.