I know everyone is excited that Florida has the Cottage Food Law, and I know everyone has questions. Please give the Dept of Agriculture a chance to get things put together regarding this new law before contacting them. Below is an email I received to help with some of your anxiety.
Bill 7209 specifying new language in Chapter 500 Florida Statutes was passed during the recent legislative session. This change will allow small food business enterprises to operate without a food permit from the Department under certain conditions and restrictions. The bill in essence allows for the production of certain non potentially hazardous foods such as cakes, cookies, jams, jellies, breads, certain dry mixes and vinegars to be prepared in one’s personal residence using only one’s home kitchen appliances. The products may not be prepared in an extended building or with additional equipment. The annual gross sales cannot exceed $15,000. The products may not be sold via the internet, mail order or wholesale , which includes such places as restaurants and food stores. In addition, there are certain labeling requirements. The Department does have the authority to investigate these types of operations on a complaint basis and penalties for non compliance may be imposed. This law will come into effect July 1, 2011. The Department is currently charged with writing rules and guidance documents to further explain what can and cannot be done in such operations. Until such times it is unlawful to prepare any food in one’s personal residence and sell such products.