The California Homemade Food Act became effective on January 1, 2013. This new law allows certain state approved foods, known as Cottage Foods, to be made in private homes and sold to the public. Cottage food products are non-potentially hazardous foods that are unlikely to grow harmful bacteria or other toxic microorganisms at room temperature.
Please note: Cannabis-infused edibles are not an approved cottage food product.
CFOs fall into one of two categories:
- Class A permits allow cottage food to be sold directly to the consumer. Direct sales can be made:
- From a private home
- At temporary events, bake sales, or food swaps
- At farm stands and Certified Farmers' Markets
Please note: Direct sales may require additional permits. Please contact our main office at (916) 875-8484 or by email at CottageFood@saccounty.net for more information.
- Class B permits allow cottage food to be sold directly to the consumer and/or sold indirectly through a permitted third party retailer such as restaurants, markets or permitted mobile food facility.
Fees Associated with Cottage Food Operations
A Initial Registration - $268.00
A Renewal – $268.00
B Initial Permit (includes home inspection) - $421.00
B Permit Renewal (includes home inspection) - $421.00
of Additional Products/Labels Review – Call
EMD for current fee
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, virtual inspections are being conducted for CFO-B initial and renewal inspections via video meeting software. CFO-B operator will be provided with further information once the application is approved.
The application fee is nonrefundable once it is submitted and received. Fee payment does not guarantee application approval.
Please contact EMD at (916) 875-8484 or by email at CottageFood@saccounty.net to inquire about Veterans fee exempt permits.
Cottage Food Operation - Zoning Requirements
Sacramento County Environmental Management Department – Environmental Health Division permits and registers Cottage Food Operations (CFOs) that comply with all of the requirements of the California Retail Food Code. The Cottage Food Operator is responsible for complying with any other requirements in the city where the business is located. Additional requirements for the different cities in Sacramento County can be found here. Any city permits, licenses or registrations must be submitted with your application.
Permits for Cottage Food Operations are issued by the county in which the food is made and sold. Sacramento County EMD will process CFO applications for all locations within Sacramento County.
If you live outside of Sacramento County, please do not apply for Cottage Food Operation in Sacramento County. Instead, refer to the city/county where your Cottage Food operation is located.
Prior to starting your application, please ensure that you have the following items completed and ready to upload:
- Food Product List- Complete the Food Product List document. List all food products by their common name(s) including all the varieties. Example of a food product list.
- Product Labels- You will be required to upload copies of your label(s) for review; at least one product from each CFO category of food to be prepared. Create a single document to include all label samples for upload. CFO Product Label Requirements
- Well Water Test Results- If the CFO is serviced by a private well – Submit recent (within 3 months) water testing laboratory results that include bacteriological organisms (E.coli & total coliform) and primary inorganic chemicals (nitrate & nitrite).
Please remember to submit all necessary application information to avoid delays in the approval process.
Changes to CFO operation
- If the CFO operation is changing from Class A to Class B, the operator must apply for a new permit.
- If the CFO operation will have a change of address, the operator must apply for a new permit/registration. The CFO must discontinue operation until the permit/registration for the new address has been approved by EMD.
- If you wish to add or update your product list/category prior to your annual renewal date, please submit the Change of Information Form before making the proposed products. You may submit the form to CottageFood@saccounty.net for review. Please contact EMD for current fee rate.
Permitted Cottage Food Operators
Resources & Additional Information
For additional information about the Cottage Food Program, please contact EMD at the address below:
Sacramento County Environmental Management Department
Environmental Health Division
11080 White Rock Rd. Suite 200
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
(916) 875-8513 (fax)