Texas

Law status: ENACTED


Sales type
Direct only
Sales venues
4 out of 8 allowed
Allowed foods
Many

Sales limit
$50,000 per year
Startup cost
$5

Good news! Texas just passed an amendment (HB 970) to their cottage food law, which just went into effect on September 1st, 2013. This amendment greatly loosens the restrictions of Texas’ previous laws.

The biggest change with the new law is that cottage food operations can now sell outside of their homes, such as at farmers markets or other events. Indirect sales to retail stores are still not allowed, but it is a huge step of progress. Texas also now has a good number of foods that are allowed to be made from home, and the sales limit per year is still $50,000. Although no licenses are required, cottage food operations now need to take a food handler’s training class.

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Selling

Sales Venues
  • Home
  • Farmers markets
  • Food stands
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Events
  • Mail orders
  • Internet

All sales must be made in-person, but they cannot be made at privately sponsored public events (like craft fairs and flea markets). Only food stands that are on farms are allowed.

Sales are limited to $50,000 per year

Business

Base Startup Cost$5

    Requirements

  • License
  • Home inspection
  • Training
  • Business License

Cottage food operators must take an accredited training program for food handlers. A simple and inexpensive option is the online course for $5. Please note that you do not need to buy the cottage food course on that website (though that course does contain a good amount of useful information) — the basic course is all that’s required. Also, you do not need to register your food card with your city.

Allowed Foods

  • Biscuits
  • Breads
  • Brittles
  • Brownies
  • Cakes
  • Caramel corn
  • Cereals
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate-covered items
  • Cobblers
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Danish
  • Donuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Dried vegetables
  • Dry coffee
  • Dry tea
  • Fruit butters
  • Fudge
  • Granola
  • Hard candies
  • Herbs
  • Jams & jellies
  • Mixes
  • Muffins
  • Mustards
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Pastries
  • Pickles
  • Pies
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Rolls
  • Scones
  • Soft candies
  • Sweet breads
  • Vinegars

Labeling

Label Requirements
  • Product name
  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Ingredients
  • Net weight
  • Date produced
  • Allergens
  • Nutrition info
  • Statement
Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The label must contain any statement that the food is not inspected by the health department or a local health department.

Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way
Cookietown, TX 73531

Although a specific allergen list is not required, any major food allergens in your products must be listed in the ingredients.

This page was last updated on September 1st, 2013

Ally

Would waffle or sugar cones be classified as cookies like pizzelles?

Sheila

I am considering starting a cottage food buisness but I do not have a food handlers card at this time. From what I have read you had to have one before January 2014. Do you just have to have one before you start the buisness?

Are there any specific events I cannot sell my product I make from home? What about Traders Village?

    I’m not familiar with Traders Village, but you can only sell at events that are sponsored by the city, county, or a non-profit. This includes farmers markets, county fairs, etc., but would not include a craft fair.

Kate

I have been looking through several websites and still have been unable to find out if infused simple syrups are allowed. There are not mentioned in lists of either permissible or prohibited products. I mean, it’s just dissolving sugar into boiling water, and they do not need to be refrigerated, so it seems like they would be allowed, but I do not want to make that assumption and break the law.

    Because syrups are not in the list of allowed foods in the law, they are not allowed, even though they may be non-perishable.

Allia

Do pancakes/waffles count as a bread? Can they be sold?

    No — bread items must be baked.

    Allia

    Ok. So what about the German type pancakes that are baked in a cake pan?

    German pancakes can have a lot of egg in them and some could even be considered a custard. If your pancakes would classify as a “potentially hazardous” baked good (meaning they require refrigeration after a few hours), then they would not be allowed. Otherwise, it still might be borderline and you should contact the health dept to make sure you can make them.

Bridget

What will I have to do to give my customers the opportunity to order appetizers (empanadas and arepas) and also smoothies online in Texas? This business will be ran (operated) at home?

Thanks much!

    You can’t do that kind of business at home, and you need a commercial license. http://cottagefoods.org/faq/#commercial

    Wait – that’s not necessarily true. As long as there is a face to face / personal interaction during the transaction then you should be ok. The way I interpret the law is that if you sell your appetizer online and then deliver it yourself or they come pick it up you should be ok – possibly the additional effort of collecting the money at delivery would be required – but you could still do it with paypal or swipe a credit card then with the right tools.

    Jason — the main issue with Bridget’s business is that none of her products are allowed under this law.

    However, the law states that a CFO “may not sell… through the internet”, and the interpretation the health dept has taken is that all transactions must happen in-person.

Missy

Are you required to follow all the laws of the Texas cottage food law if I’m operating. the business from my home but have established an actually business using a DBA and an EIN?

Holly

Are baked goods one of the options that you are allowed to sell online?

Thank you!

Steve

Would I be allowed to prepare soup in my kitchen in Texas?

Can I sell chips like fried Tortilla chips?

dannie

hi where do you take the course?

Either you are wrong, or texascottagefoodlaw.com is wrong. Which is it? You say it is impermissible to sell at farmers markets; they say it is permissible. You say the health department cannot inspect even if a consumer complains; they say “If DSHS or your local health department has reason to believe your operation poses an immediate and serious threat to human life or health, they may take action, including getting a warrant to enter your home, and shutting down your operation.” So, which is it? Thanks!

    The law is going to change in two days. That is when this page will change to reflect the amendment. Hope that clarifies things!

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