Cottage Foods

What are Cottage Foods in Colorado?

A limited range of foods that are non-potentially hazardous and that do not require refrigeration. These foods are limited to spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butter, and baked goods, including candies.

Foods produced under this act must be sold only directly to ultimate consumers and not to grocery stores or restaurants; and must be sold only on the producer’s premises, at the producer’s roadside stand, or at a farmers’ market, community-supported agriculture organization, or similar venue where the product is sold directly to consumers.

Read the full text of the initial Colorado Cottage Foods Act. This Act became a state law on March 15, 2012. Additional changes were made to the Act during the 2013 Legislative Session. Visit the updated Act, as of April 4, 2013, by clicking here.

Food Handler Training Options

The Act states that “a producer must take a food safety course that includes basic food handling training and is comparable to, or is a course given by, the Colorado state university extension service or a state, county, or district public health agency, and must maintain a status of good standing in accordance with the course requirements, including attending any additional classes if necessary.”

Face-to-Face Training:

Online Training:

Food Safety Instructor Training

Note that only certified food manager trainers (credentialed by either ServSafe® or NEHA) can offer certificates of completion to individuals for either of the food manager training programs. Obtaining a passing score and a certificate of completion is a prerequisite for cottage food producers wishing to produce value-added products allowed under Colorado’s 2012 Cottage Food Act.

  • ServSafe® certifies ServSafe® Certified Instructors. The educational and professional requirements for obtaining this level of certification are listed here for ServSafe instructors and proctors.
  • The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) offers Registered Food Safety Trainer certification. Required credentials and competencies are listed on their application page.