In Texas, making goodies in your home kitchen and selling them out of your home is not allowed. In 14 other U.S. states, cottage food laws allow the sale of baked goods, considered potentially non-hazardous foods, from the home. In the Lone Star state, however, any food made in a residential kitchen is off limits to sell and in direct violation of state laws. Outside of the kitchen, there are a few options for selling food products from home.
Understand the Law in Texas
Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 431, states that any type of manufacturing or storing of food product for distribution in any areas used as living or sleeping quarters is not allowed unless it is completely partitioned from your home. A requirement of being licensed as a food manufacturer is that no manufacturing can take place in the home kitchen. You are considered a manufacturer if you produce a food product or a food component and either package it for customers or sell to another business that will sell to customers.
What is happening with cottage food law support in Texas?
Groups of self-employed bakers and the like are working with state officials to push legislation that will allow the production and sale of baked goods out of the home kitchen if those goods are determined nonhazardous. Nonhazardous goods are those that don't spoil easily.
During the 2009 legislative session, Texas State Rep. Dan Gattis filed House Bill 3282 to legalize the sale of nonpotentially hazardous bakery goods made in home kitchens. The bill died before it reached floor for a vote.
Selling products not made in the home kitchen
If you want to manufacture and sell goods in a completely partitioned area of your house, you must first obtain a manufacturer's license. Applications can be found on the Texas Department of Health Services website, as well as fee information. The space you use must also be in compliance with all statutes concerning food safety.
The Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Warehousing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing or Holding Human Food code (25 Texas Administrative Code Part 1, Chapter 229, Subchapter N) determines a facility's compliance with requirements. Requirements include (but not limited to):
Hand wash and three-compartment sinks with hot and cold running water;
Easily sanitized surfaces that are impervious to moisture including floors, walls and ceilings;
Tightly sealed windows, doors and other entries to prevent the entrance of rodents and other pests;
Sufficient lighting; and
Within suitable size, construction and design to facilitate maintenance and sanitary operations.