The governor has signed SB 81 which includes the Texas Cottage Food Law. That means starting in September 2011 (and with certain limitations), home bakers in Texas can begin to legally sell cakes, cookies, and other non-perishable foods.
Summary of sections 5 and 6 of the bill, which pertain to Cottage Food Operations.
Food must be sold from your home, directly to another consumer. No sales at farmer’s markets, wholesale, or resale to restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc.
Foods are limited to non-potentially hazardous baked goods, canned jams, jellies, and dry spice mixes.
Annual gross income from sales of above food items must be $50,000 or less.
The local health department may not regulate these home cottage food operations, but they must maintain a record of any complaint made. This is a consumer safeguard, so that consumers can call the local health department and check for complaints on their “cake lady” before they purchase, if they wish.
The food items sold must be labeled with the name and address of the cottage food production operation, and a statement that the food was made in a kitchen that has not been inspected by the health department.
Food must not be sold through the internet. This simply means that these operations can’t set up a shopping cart and let people purchase blindly. Our cottage food producers may still have a web site to promote their business. The “no internet sales” clause goes back to the fact that we ARE small “cottage” operations, and helps ensure that sales are local and face-to-face, which is in keeping with the spirit of the bill. Again, it does NOT mean that web sites are prohibited.