Cottage Law

Examples of foods that are ALLOWED

  • These foods are allowed because they are considered Non-Potentially Hazardous Foods:
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Breads
  • Muffins
  • Fruit Pies (apple, cherry, berry, etc.)

Examples of foods that are NOT ALLOWED

These foods are not allowed because they are considered Potentially Hazardous Foods:

  • Pumpkin pies
  • Meringue Pies
  • Cream Cheese Frosting/Filling
  • Meats and Cheeses
  • Cooked sauces
  • Cut tomatoes/leafy greens
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Salsas
  • Canned vegetables
  • Low acid canned foods or other pepper jams or jellies

Are you interested in preparing food at home and serving to the public? State statute and local codes do allow this type of food operation with certain restrictions. To learn about the Missouri Cottage Food Production Operations, commonly referred to as the “Cottage Law,” you can read the state statute.

Our Springfield City Code also allows this type of food preparation as a home occupation. The restrictions to in Springfield City Code can be seen in  Sec. 36.451(3)(n).

Cottage Food and Production Operations / Home Occupations are limited to preparing and serving the following types of non-potentially hazardous foods. 

  • Baked goods 
  • Canned Jams or Jellies 
  • Dried herb or Herb mix 

These non-potentially hazardous types of foods pose a low health risk on account of them not supporting the growth of bacteria. 

How are “Potentially Hazardous Foods Defined”?  Pages 13 and 14 of our  Missouri Food Code provides a lengthy definition of potentially hazardous foods.

Cottage Food / Home Food Operations are only allowed to prepare and serve food to the end consumer. They are not allowed to prepare these types of foods for other businesses.  Preparing foods for sale to other businesses (not the end consumer) makes the operator a “Food Manufacturer” who must comply with the rules associated with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Manufactured Foods Program. Preparing foods out of a residence is not allowed by the  DHSS Manufactured Foods Program.

Home Food Operations are required to label their prepared non-potentially hazardous foods with the following: 

  • Name and address of the processor preparing the food (this would be the address of the residence) 
  • Common Name of the food 
  • Name of all ingredients in the order of predominance 
  • Net weight of the food in English or metric units 
  • statement that the product is prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to inspection by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. 

Cottage food operations must follow all local zoning laws.

Operations that do not require a food permit

  1. Home Food Operations
  2. Nonprofit Organizations

Who does not need a food establishment permit?

Home food operations that prepare or sell non-potentially hazardous foods if the business meets the following conditions:

  • Preparing non-potentially hazardous foods such as (but not limited to):
    • Breads
    • Dry cookie mixes
    • Fruit pies
    • Dry packaged spice mixes
    • Dry packaged soup mixes
    • Cracked nuts
  • Exception: low acid canned, or acidified foods as listed in the Code of Federal Regulations
  • Only the person producing the food, or an immediate family member living in the producer’s home with knowledge of the food, may sell, sample, or serve the food
  • Food may only be sold, sample, or served directly to the end consumer
  • All processed packaged foods shall have a label stating:
    • Name and address of manufacturer/producer preparing the food
    • Common name of the food
    • Name of all the ingredients in the food in order of predominance by weight
    • The net weight
    • A statement that the product is prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to inspection by Springfield-Greene County Health 
  • It is recommended that honey manufacturers/processors include this additional statement to their product label:
    • “Honey is not recommended for infants less than twelve (12) months of age.”
  • Food that is sold, sampled, or served in individual portions shall have a clearly visible placard at the sales or service location that states:
    • A statement that the food is prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to inspection by Springfield-Greene County Health.
    • Springfield-Greene County Health  shall have final authority in determining whether a food is non-potentially hazardous and may require an individual who violates these conditions from selling, sampling, or serving these foods.