Stay Safe When Making or Buying Homemade Treats for the Holidays

Who doesn’t love homemade treats during the holidays? Here are some helpful tips if you want to plan to make and sell your favorite homemade treats for a little extra money or buy items for your family gathering. We will discuss what is allowed to be made at home and how you can sell it without having to have a food service or retail food license from your local health department or a home bakery license.

Home food production in Ohio

You can prepare food in your home if you meet the following conditions: You are the resident of the home, which contains only a residential range or double oven. This type of food production is known as artisanal food production in Ohio.

Once you determine that you meet these conditions, we must discuss the types of food that can be prepared and sold under the cottage food rules. Foods that are allowed are not potentially hazardous (meaning refrigeration is not needed to limit the growth of organisms), such as baked goods, candy, popcorn (does not include unpopped popcorn), unfilled baked donuts, cereals dry and nut snack mixes, roasted coffee, dry baking mixes for cookies and cakes, dry seasoning mixes, jams, jellies, fruit butters, granola, flavored honey made by a beekeeper or maple sugar made by an ORC-exempt processor 3715.012 is available at

Where to buy and sell homemade food

These foods may be sold directly from home, at licensed grocery stores or restaurants, registered farmer’s and farmer’s markets, or during festivals lasting no more than 7 consecutive days.

These foods must also be properly labeled with 1. Name of the food, 2. The net weight of the product, 3. List of ingredients, beginning with what contains the largest amount of product and working down, 4. Name and address of the company, 5. In a 10-point source, “This product is home-produced.” The label must also list allergens including milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. You can find an example tag at

Foods Requiring a Home Bakery License

Finally, let’s talk about what foods cannot be produced and sold as home cooking. This would include raw or uncooked animal products, cooked vegetables, garlic in oil, cheesecakes, pumpkin pies, custard pies, and custard pies. If you want to produce this type of food, you will need to obtain a home bakery license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Low-acid canned food or acidified food cannot be produced either. Canned vegetables, salsa, and barbecue sauce are examples of foods that must be produced in a licensed cannery.

For more information on homemade foods, call the FCPH Environmental Health division at 740-333-3590.

Megan Batson, BS is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at the Fayette County Department of Public Health.

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