Cottage Foods


Two pieces of legislation were passed during the 2015 Legislative Session that change Colorado’s Cottage Foods Act.

SB15-085 clarifies the definition of (cottage foods) “Producer” as an individual who is a resident of Colorado or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) formed in Colorado, consisting of two or fewer members, and of which all members are residents of Colorado. The legislation also increases the net revenue allowed by cottage foods producers to a maximum of ten thousand dollars per calendar year from the sale of each eligible food product produced in the producer’s home kitchen or a commercial, private or public kitchen.

HB15-1102 adds allowable products and categorizes these products into two tiers.

Tier one foods are what have historically been allowed (spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butter, and baked goods, including candies) and adds flour, fruit empanadas and tortillas.

Tier two foods are limited to pickled vegetables that have an equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or lower. The State Board of Health is required to promulgate rules, including enforcement provisions, necessary to provide for the safe production and sale of tier two foods. Until rules are finalized; these products may not be produced under the Cottage Foods Act. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is working with stakeholders on the rule development. Watch this page for updates as we will post information when it becomes available.

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.