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Selling Homemade Food in Nevada

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 separate rules for “craft food operations.”

Nevada cottage food types

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

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

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 sales or “craft food operations.”

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:

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.

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