Cottage Food Laws in Iowa

Can You Sell Food and Beverage out of Your Home in Iowa?

No, it is not currently legal to sell food or beverage products out of your home in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals requires that all businesses handling food be licensed and inspected to ensure safety and sanitation standards are met.

What is the Cottage Food Law in Iowa?

The Cottage Food Law in Iowa is a law that allows certain food items to be produced in a home kitchen and then sold directly to consumers at farmers markets, roadside stands, or through other direct sources. This law allows individuals to produce food items such as cakes, cookies, jams, jellies, breads, pies, pastries, and other similar items without needing a certified kitchen or obtaining a food service license.

What is Required on a Cottage Food Label in Iowa?

In Iowa, cottage food label requirements include the following:

1. The name of the product.
2. A list of ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight.
3. The net weight or net volume of the product.
4. The name, address, and phone number of the cottage food producer, or a label that states “processed and packaged by a cottage food producer”.
5. An accurate description of the product, such as “homemade chocolate chip cookies”.
6. A statement that the food was made in a home kitchen not inspected by the State Department of Health or local health department.
7. If the product contains any major food allergens (eggs, milk, wheat, soybeans, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish), this statement must be included on the label: “Contains [allergen(s)]”.
8. The date when the product was produced or packaged for sale.
9. If the product is perishable, a reasonable shelf-life statement must be included on the label.
10. Any other information required by law.

Are Cottage Foods Taxable in Iowa?

Yes, cottage foods produced in Iowa are subject to a state sales tax of 6%, and to local sales tax where applicable.

Do You Need to Establish a Business Entity to Sell Cottage Foods in Iowa?

Yes. According to Iowa law, cottage food businesses need to establish a business entity in order to sell their products. Additionally, they must register with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals prior to operating.

What Permits do You Need to Sell Food out of Your Home in Iowa?

In order to sell food out of your home in Iowa, you will need to obtain a food establishment license from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA). You will also need to obtain a temporary food establishment permit from your local health department, as well as any other necessary county or city permits. Additionally, you may need to comply with zoning regulations and other local codes.

Does a Cottage Food Business Need a Food Handlers License in Iowa?

No, a cottage food business does not need a food handler’s license in Iowa. However, they must comply with the Iowa Cottage Food Law and register with their local health department.

How Much does it Cost to Obtain a Food Safety License or Certification in Iowa?

The exact cost of obtaining a food safety license or certification in Iowa will vary depending on the type of license or certification you require and the length of the course. Generally, food safety licenses and certifications will cost between $50 and $500.

Who Regulates Food Safety in Iowa?

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is responsible for regulating food safety in Iowa. They ensure the safety of food products by inspecting food manufacturing and distribution facilities, conducting laboratory testing of food products, and providing training and technical assistance to those involved in the retail food service industry.

How Long Does a Food Handlers License Last in Iowa?

Food Handler cards issued from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals are valid for three years.

What Permits do You Need for a Food Truck in Iowa?

In Iowa, a food truck must have a Retail Food Establishment License in order to operate. This license can be obtained through the local county health department in the county where the business is located. Additionally, a food truck must have a current City Business License or Permit from the city or municipality where it will be operating in order to legally do business. Depending on the local regulations for that city or municipality, other permits may be required such as health permits, zoning permits, and fire safety permits.

What Permits do You Need for a Food Booth in Iowa?

In Iowa, a food booth must comply with licensing and health regulations specific to the county it is located in. Generally, a mobile food vendor must obtain a Temporary Food Establishment Permit from the local county health authority. This permit is valid for up to 14 days within a single county and must be applied for at least three days prior to any event. Depending on the type of food and preparation methods used, other permits or licenses may also be necessary. For example, if alcohol is served, a liquor permit will be required. Additionally, depending on zoning laws in the county where the booth is located, there may be other permits or licenses necessary for operation.

What Permits do You Need for a Cottage Food Business in Iowa?

In order to legally operate a cottage food business in Iowa, you must obtain a temporary food establishment license from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA). A temporary food establishment permit is valid for either seven consecutive days or seven intermittent days during the same calendar year. This permit is required for all cottage food businesses that prepare, process, or serve food to the public at any open-air event, including farmers markets, flea markets, festivals, fairs, and roadside stands. You must also register your business with the Iowa Department of Revenue and obtain a seller’s permit.

What are the Penalties for Selling Food without a Permit in Iowa?

In Iowa, it is illegal to sell food without a permit from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA). Violators can be subject to fines of up to $625 for each offense. Additionally, the DIA may take other actions including issuing an order to cease and desist, or assessments of license fees and other penalties. For more information on the specific requirements for selling food in Iowa, please consult the DIA website.