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Cottage Food Operation - AB 1616

bread kneeding dough cookies
 assorted cottage foodsraspberry jam jam jars

AB 1616, the California Homemade Food Act, was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 21, 2012 and will become effective on January 1, 2013. This new law will allow certain foods, known as Cottage Foods, to be made in private homes and sold to the public. Individuals who own and run these home-based businesses will be known as Cottage Food Operators (CFOs).

Starting the application process for your Cottage Food Operation:

It is exciting to start your own food business in the comfort of your home. The first thing for you to decide is what cottage food you will be selling and how you will sell the food. The following information will help you decide the class of Cottage Food Operation (CFO) that suits your business and what you have to do to qualify as a CFO with the local Health Department.

You can use the home’s kitchen for the preparation, packaging, storage, or handling of cottage food products, as well as the ingredients and equipment that you use to make these products. Attached rooms within the home are to be used only for storage.

As a CFO business, you are allowed to prepare only non-potentially hazardous foods in the home you live in. The food you wish to prepare must be listed on the State's approved list of food products, provided below. You are allowed to sell the food you prepared to the public, either directly or indirectly. How you decide to sell the cottage food will determine the class of CFO and the application process you will need to follow.

Class A Cottage Food Operators

A “Class A” CFO can only sell cottage foods directly to the consumer and is required to register with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and submit a “self-certification compliance checklist”. Direct sales can be made:

  1. From your home
  2. At holiday bazaars or temporary events, bake sales or food swaps
  3. At farm stands and Certified Farmers’ Markets
  4. Through community-supported agriculture subscription
*Direct sales under b, c and d above, may require additional permits.

Click below to get started!

Class B Cottage Food Operators

A “Class B” CFO can sell cottage foods directly to the consumer, as with Class A and may also sell indirectly to consumers within Los Angeles County. A “Class B” CFO is required to register and obtain a permit from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

A permit is issued only after our inspection has verified that your home kitchen meets requirements. In addition to direct sales, indirect sales can be made to:

  • Permitted restaurant
  • Permitted grocery/ food market retail
  • Permitted mobile food facility (i.e. food trucks)

Click below to get started!

How much does it cost to become a CFO in Los Angeles County?

Effective August 8, 2013, new fees for Cottage Food Operator Registrations and Permits will be implemented, as approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on July 9, 2013. All Cottage Food Operator Class A applications received beginning 8-9-2013 must include the new fees indicated below. Cottage Food Operator Class B applications will be received without a fee, however payment is required prior to issuance of the Permit.

  1. Registration (Class A ONLY)………………………………………………………$118
  2. Permit (Class B ONLY)………………………………………………………………$292

For more information on the California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616) and Cottage Foods, click on the following:

To obtain information regarding the approved cottage foods, labeling requirements, and food processor course, please visit California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website Cottage Food Operations page.

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Director of Environmental Health
Liza Frias
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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