All across the United States, people 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. Nevada expanded opportunities for cottage food producers in 2013 with the passage of Senate Bill 2016, which became Nevada Revised Statute 446.866. Additional reforms came in 2015 with the passage of Senate Bill 441, which established similar rules for “craft food operations.”
|Grades For Homemade Food Laws||Nevada|
|Food Varieties Grade||D|
|Sales and Venue Restrictions Grade||D+|
|Regulatory Burdens Grade||B|
Nevada cottage food types
|What Shelf-Stable Foods Can I Sell in Nevada?||Limited to list set by state law.|
|Can I Sell Refrigerated Baked Goods in Nevada?||No|
|Can I Sell Meat in Nevada?||No|
|Can I Sell Acidified or Pickled Foods in Nevada?||Yes, with craft food registration.|
|Can I Sell Low-Acid Canned Goods in Nevada?||No|
|Can I Sell Fermented Foods in Nevada?||No|
Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Nevada cottage food producers may sell products that are not “potentially hazardous” and do not require time or temperature controls for food safety. State law specifically allows Nevada cottage food producers to sell nuts and nut mixes, candies, jams, jellies, preserves, vinegar and flavored vinegar, dry herbs, seasoning mixes, dried fruits, cereals, trail mixes, granola, popcorn and popcorn balls, and baked goods like breads, cookies and cakes. Nevada cottage food producers may not sell baked goods that contain cream, uncooked eggs, custard, meringue, or cream cheese frosting or garnishes. Nevada cottage food producers who register to sell “craft food” may sell canned fruits and vegetables using recipes approved by the State Department of Agriculture. All canned products must have a finished equilibrium pH level of not more than 4.6.
Nevada cottage food venues
|Sales and Venue Restrictions||Nevada|
|Annual Sales Cap||$35,000|
|Where Can I Sell Homemade Food Direct to Consumers in Nevada?||No restrictions|
|Can I Sell Homemade Food to Retail Outlets Like Restaurants and Grocery Stores?||No|
Nevada cottage food producers may sell their products only in-person and directly to consumers. Allowable venues include farmers’ markets, flea markets, swap meets, church bazaars, garage sales, roadside stands and craft fairs. Nevada also allows home pickup and delivery. Nevada cottage food producers may not sell their products online or via third-party vendors like restaurants, grocery stores and coffee shops.
Getting started in Nevada
|Inspections Required Before Starting||No|
|Are Local Ordinances Preempted or Overridden?||Yes|
|License, Permit or Registration Required||Yes|
|Recipe Approval or Lab Testing Required||Only for acidified food.|
|Food Handler Training Required||Only for acidified food.|
Nevada cottage food producers must register with the local health district, which is part of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. The process includes registration fees in some districts but not others. Online registration is available. Nevada does not require home inspections or food safety training to get started. Nevada caps gross annual sales at $35,000. Nevada cottage food producers who sell “craft food” must complete food safety training, register with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, pay a registration fee, and keep detailed logs of all transactions going back at least five years. Local jurisdictions may not impose additional restrictions on cottage food or craft food.
Nevada cottage food labels
Nevada cottage food producers must attach labels on their products that comply with federal labeling requirements. Labels must include the business name and address, product name, ingredients in descending order of prominence, allergen information, and net weight or quantity. Labels must include the following statement, printed prominently: “MADE IN A COTTAGE FOOD OPERATION THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO GOVERNMENT FOOD SAFETY INSPECTION.” Craft food operators who sell canned fruits and vegetables must include the following statement, printed prominently: “MADE IN A CRAFT FOOD OPERATION THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO GOVERNMENT FOOD SAFETY INSPECTION.”
Nevada cottage food facts
Myths about cottage food abound. Here are the facts:
- Cottage food is safe. Critics who talk about the risk of food-borne illness give hypothetical examples of what could go wrong because real-world cases are rare or nonexistent.
- Cottage food is local. When neighbors trade with neighbors, money stays in the local economy.
- Cottage food is transparent. People who buy from a cottage food producer know what they get. If they have questions about ingredients, sourcing or safety, they can ask.
- Cottage food creates jobs. Many homemade food producers use their income to provide for their families. Others seek a secondary or supplemental income.
- Cottage food empowers women. IJ cottage food research shows that most cottage food producers are women, and many live in rural areas with limited economic opportunity.
- Cottage food expands consumer choice. Some stores simply don’t sell what you want. This is especially true if you have a gluten-free, peanut-free, halal, kosher or vegan diet. Cottage food fills market gaps, giving consumers more options.
Nevada 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:
- Model Food Freedom Act from the Institute for Justice guides activism efforts at state capitols nationwide.
- Flour Power: How Cottage Food Entrepreneurs Are Using Their Home Kitchens to Become Their Own Bosses surveys 775 cottage food producers in 22 states about what their businesses mean to them.
- Ready to Roll highlights nine lessons from the Institute for Justice’s cottage food victory in Wisconsin.
- The Attack on Food Freedom examines the impact of regulations on farmers, chefs, artisans, restaurateurs, food truck operators and others.
Tell your Nevada story
Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Nevada? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here…
Support Nevada legislation
Help expand cottage food laws in Nevada 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.