The Cottage Food Operation law (P.A.097-0393) became effective in Illinois on
January 1, 2012. This new law allows certain foods made in home kitchens to be sold at Illinois farmers’ markets with limited regulation. The purpose of the law is to promote and support the Illinois agriculture and cottage food industries.
The products that can be made in a home kitchen and sold at a farmers’ market include:
• Certain fruit-based jams, jellies and preserves.
• Fruit butters.
• Baked goods (i.e. breads, cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries).
• Dried foods (i.e. herbs and teas).
For a complete list of the foods allowed to be sold follow the link at the end of this article to view a copy of the entire law. The law does not allow these homemade products to be sold in retail stores or any location other than an Illinois farmers’ market. In addition, the products must meet specific labeling requirements and the vendor must register the cottage food operation with the local health department where the business is located. For more information on this new law, you can click here to access a copy of the law..
If you would like to operate under the Cottage Food Operation law please follow these simple steps:
If you are not already certified, click here for a list of regional opportunities to obtain the required food service sanitation manager certification training. IDPH also maintains a list of trainers by region at http://dph.illinois.gov/fssmccourses/.
Please be aware the classroom-based certification training requires a total of 15 hours and is usually conducted over two to three days followed by an exam. There are fees associated with the certification training. It may take up to four weeks to obtain your certificate from the State once you pass the certification exam and pay an additional $35 fee to IDPH. Periodic refresher courses are required once you become certified. Please refer to the IDPH website for information about training waivers and certification through reciprocity.
You will next need to register with us after you have received your Illinois Department of Public Health approved food service sanitation management certificate. The certification number from Step 1 is needed to be entered onto the registration form. The registration form may be downloaded from our website by clicking here. The completed and signed registration form may be returned to us via the following options:
DuPage County Health Department
Environmental Health Service Unit
111 N. County Farm Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
Registration confirmation will be provided to you. You may need to take the registration confirmation with you to other counties. There is no fee for registration in DuPage County to operate under the Cottage Food Operations law. Registrations should be submitted to us annually. Please let us know whenever your contact information changes.
You are responsible for all other provisions in the law including but not limited to:
• Product packaging,
• Product labeling,
• Displaying a placard with the required language,
• Not exceeding gross receipts of $25,000 in a calendar year from the sale of food exempted under this law, and
• Selling allowed foods only at farmers’ markets in Illinois.
There is no fee to register with the DuPage County Health Department to operate under the Cottage Food Operations law. However, there are fees associated with the food service sanitation management certification training, certificate, and related refresher courses.
Please contact one of our Sanitarians in Environmental Health Services at
(630) 682-7400 for more information or to request a paper copy of the registration form be mailed to you.