Teller County Environmental Health

Cottage Food Program

In 2012, the Colorado Legislature enacted Senate Bill 12-048 allowing individuals to produce, sell and store certain types of “cottage food” products in an unlicensed home kitchen.

A copy of the bill can be found at

Cottage food products include such items as spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, candies, jams, jellies and certain baked goods. Cottage food operations require no license or permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and are not inspected by any state or local government entity. Gross sales for each product produced by a cottage food operation must not exceed $5,000 annually. Products must be sold directly by the cottage food operator to the end consumer. Sales by consignment or to retail food or whole-sale food establishments are prohibited. Cottage food products must be labeled in accordance with the requirements as outlined in Section 25-4-1614, C.R.S.

Cottage Food Complaints: Know the rules!
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment may investigate any complaint received concerning cottage food operations.
If your cottage food operation is the subject of a complaint, you must allow a state or local public health employee in your cottage food operation to conduct an inspection.
The employee will inspect your cottage food operation to determine compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.

If, as a cottage food producer, you produce foods that are not allowed by the provision of the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, a local public health agency has the authority to embargo and/or condemn the product in question. Since the production of foods not allowed under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act would require a license and a commercial facility, a local public health agency may use the enforcement provisions of the Food Protection Act to obtain compliance.

Cottage Food Operations Require Training!
The Colorado Cottage Foods Act requires “producers to be certified in safe food handling and processing by a third-party certifying entity, comparable to and including the United States Department of Agriculture or the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service, and must maintain a status of good standing in accordance with the certifying entity practices and procedures, including attending any classes required for certification.” Safe food handling courses should include topics on safe food sources, personal hygiene, sanitation of equipment, worker illness, food temperature control, safe water, sewage disposal, pest control, proper hand washing, and control of toxics.

Safe food handling courses that meet this training requirement include:

ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Certification– a comprehensive food safety training offered by
Colorado State University Extension

ServSafe® online certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation 

National Environmental Health Association’s Certified Professional Food Manager

Colorado State University Extension will post additional cottage food materials on the Colorado Farm to Market website

Related Information
       Colorado Cottage Food Producer Brochure
       Cottage Food Fact Sheet Guidance