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Cottage food sales are allowed under Georgia's Regulations Chapter 40-7-19. The Cottage Food License allows cottage food operators to produce non-potentially hazardous foods in home kitchens to sell to the end users. Cottage food operators can sell these products within the State of Georgia directly to the consumer at non-profit events and for-profit events (such as farmers markets), and through internet sales. Licensed cottage food operators are not allowed to distribute or wholesale their product, nor can they ship cottage food products across state lines.*
Cottage Food Operators must complete an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited food safety training program. Please see the link in the right-hand margin for additional information on accredited courses. Typically, there are different levels of training courses available, including Food Handler and Certified Food Manager courses. Food handler training is acceptable for Cottage Food Operators according to the Cottage Food Regulations.
Cottage food products include:
- Loaf Breads, Rolls, and Biscuits
- Pastries and Cookies
- Candies and Confections
- Fruit Pies
- Jams, Jellies, and Preserves
- Dried Fruits
- Dry Herbs, Seasonings and Mixtures
- Cereals, Trail Mixes, and Granola
- Coated or Uncoated Nuts
- Vinegar and Flavored Vinegar
- Popcorn, Popcorn Balls, and Cotton Candy
To get started, click through the "Additional Resources" on the sidebar of this page, and be sure to read (and/or print off) the GDA's brochure, "Starting a Cottage Food Business," which includes a handy checklist of things you'll need to do before you submit a cottage food license application.
*Cottage food products cannot be distributed or wholesaled to retail stores, restaurants or other institutions. To distribute, wholesale, and/or to sell products across state lines, a Food Sales Establishment License is required. Domestic kitchens cannot be licensed as food sales establishments.
Please note, obtaining a Cottage Food License in Georgia requires the applicant to complete secure and verifiable information to verify citizenship/immigration status. As directed by law, the GDA will utilize the Federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security.