Texas Cottage Food Law Updates

On June 10th of this year, Governor Abbot signed Senate Bill 572 “Relating to the regulation of cottage food production operations.” The original 2011 Texas Cottage Food Law and 2013 expansion made the great state of Texas one of the friendliest places to start a home food production business. With the changes made in SB 572, the Texas Cottage Food law becomes even friendlier to business owners and makes more products available to the public. This law allows any Texas resident with a Food Handler’s certification to produce food stuffs in their own home without a business license but within certain parameters. These parameters are what SB 572 is aiming to relax.

SB 572 removes the location restriction previously in place that only allowed producers to sell in a local capacity. Producers can now sell their products directly to consumers anywhere in the state. Orders are now permissible via the Internet and mail order, provided that the producer personally delivers the food to the consumer.

Restrictions on specific foods that do not require time and temperature control for safety have been lifted, allowing for sale items like pickled, fermented, and frozen fruits and vegetables, and canned goods provided that those canned and pickled products have a pH value of 4.6 or less. While the list of permitted food has expanded, please note that there still are restrictions on foods that require time and temperature control for safety. A complete list of permitted foods can be found at the Texas Cottage Food Law website listed below and in the actual text of the bill.

It is important to note that Senate Bill 572 does not add any new regulatory burdens for producers, but only clarifies the law’s positions and reduces the restrictions placed on producers while maintaining proper food safety practices.

This is a very exciting update to an already business friendly law. If you are a cottage food producer and are interested in branching into some of the new areas allowed under the law, please remember that these changes do not come into effect until September 1, 2019!

For more information about the Texas Cottage Food Law, its updates, or how to get started please visit texascottagefoodlaw.com, and I would encourage you to read SB 572 in its entirety at capitol.texas.gov.

For information about food safety, home production, or obtaining a Food Handlers certification, please contact Family and Community Health Agent Chris Coon at 254-435-2331 or at chris.coon@ag.tamu.edu.

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