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Cottage Food

Cottage food operations are home-based food businesses conducted by a person who produces food or drink, other than foods and drinks listed as prohibited by Illinois law, in a kitchen located in that person’s primary domestic residence or another appropriately designed kitchen on a farm. The law allows cottage food operations to sell food directly to consumers, including sales by the owner, a family member, or employee, but may not be sold for resale or in retail food establishments.

Generally, cottage food products must be packaged and labeled with ingredients and allergens. Certain foods and ingredients are prohibited under cottage food regulations. Some products, such as canned tomatoes, acidified, and fermented foods, have additional requirements for food safety. You can learn more about prohibited ingredients and additional requirements by reviewing the cottage food guide available below.

To operate as a cottage food operation, you must register with the local health department where you reside. To locate your local health department, refer to this map or check the local health department directory at the traditional directory.

To learn more about cottage food and the requirements to operate, contact the IDPH food program or your local health department. 

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