Cottage Food Operation & Farmers’ Market

A Cottage Food Operation is where an individual produces or packages non-potentially hazardous food in a home kitchen at their personal residence. The product can only be for direct sale by that individual or a family member and stored in the residence where it was made.

Before producing and selling food products, you shall familiarize yourself with the Cottage Food Operation Act, Public Act 097-0393. In order to sell food under this public act, you shall register with your local county health department.

The Cottage Food Operation Act allows individuals the opportunity to create products in the home from locally produced fruits and vegetables then sell those products at the farmers’ markets.

“A farmers’ market is a common facility or area where farmers gather to sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and other locally-produced farm and food products directly to consumers”.

  • Please review the food safety guide in order to learn about foods permitted to be sold at Farmers’ Markets.  Illinois Farmers Market Food Safety Guide
  • An individual shall have a current Illinois Food Service Sanitation Management Certificate or obtain a Certified Food Protection Management Certificate in order to prepare product
  • Complete an Application for Cottage Industry Registration and submit to the Health Department
*Before you begin production, review the list of “allowed” & “not allowed” products. Some products aren’t allowed as they are considered a potentially hazardous food.

Labeling requirements:To be compliant with this Public Act, your product shall be properly labeled with the following information:

  • The name and address of the cottage food operation.
  • The common or usual name of the food product.
  • All ingredients including colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, listed in decreasing order of prominence by weight.
  • Statement “This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens.”
  • The date the product was processed.
  • Allergen labeling as specified in the federal labeling requirements.

*The food product shall only be sold at a Farmers’ Market with gross sales not to exceed $25,000 each calendar year. A placard shall be displayed at each stand stating the following: “This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens.” The Monroe County Health Department reserves the right to inspect products and premises at any point if they receive complaints or suspects an imminent health hazard exists, including suspicion that a foodborne illness outbreak has occurred. In that event, the Health Inspector reserves the right to require you to cease operation until it is deemed safe to continue sales.