Cottage Food Laws in Massachusetts

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

Yes, you can sell food and beverage out of your home in Massachusetts. However, you must obtain a license or permit from the local health department and the Department of Revenue to do so. Additionally, you must comply with safety and sanitation regulations set forth by the local health department.

What is the Cottage Food Law in Massachusetts?

The Cottage Food Law in Massachusetts is a law that allows for individuals to bake and prepare certain food items at home and sell them directly to consumers. The foods that can be sold include non-potentially hazardous foods such as jams, jellies, breads, cookies, candies, and fruit pies.

What is Required on a Cottage Food Label in Massachusetts?

All cottage food products sold in Massachusetts must include a label that includes the following information:

1. The name and address of the producer
2. The common or usual name of the product
3. A list of ingredients, including any sub-ingredients
4. The net weight or volume of the product
5. Allergens, such as nuts, eggs, milk, soy, wheat, fish, and crustaceans
6. Instructions for storage and/or preparation
7. A statement that the product is prepared in a home kitchen not inspected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
8. A “Use By” date that is no more than 30 days from production

Are Cottage Foods Taxable in Massachusetts?

Yes, cottage food products are subject to sales tax in Massachusetts. The sales tax rate is 6.25%.

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

Yes, you need to establish a business entity to sell cottage foods in Massachusetts. Cottage food operations (CFOs) must register with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and must hold a valid CFO registration certificate. Operating without a valid registration can result in administrative penalties and/or criminal prosecution.

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

In Massachusetts, any food that is not considered “non-potentially hazardous” is considered to be a “food establishment.” This means that if you are looking to sell food out of your home, you will need to obtain a retail food permit from your local health department. This permit allows you to sell food from your home in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Additionally, you must adhere to the state’s food safety regulations, which include proper food storage, sanitization, and labeling. Lastly, you may need to obtain a business license from your local municipality before you can legally sell food from your home.

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

No, a cottage food business does not need a food handlers license in Massachusetts. However, all cottage food businesses must be registered with the local board of health and are subject to inspection by the Department of Agriculture.

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

The cost for obtaining a food safety license or certification in Massachusetts varies depending on the type of license or certification being requested. Generally, food safety licenses and certifications in Massachusetts start at a minimum fee of $30. Depending on the type and scope of the license or certification, fees may go up to several hundred dollars. Additionally, food license applicants must obtain a surety bond of $25,000 from a surety company licensed to do business in Massachusetts prior to being issued a license.

Who Regulates Food Safety in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is responsible for regulating food safety in Massachusetts. The department’s Bureau of Environmental Health is the primary body for food safety in the state, and it works closely with county health departments and local boards of health to ensure compliance with state and local regulations.

How Long Does a Food Handlers License Last in Massachusetts?

A Food Handlers License in Massachusetts is valid for 5 years from the date it was issued.

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

In Massachusetts, food truck operators must obtain a Mobile Food Vending Permit from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). This permit must be renewed annually. Additionally, depending on the municipality in which the food truck is operating, additional permits may be required. These permits can include a business license, a street vending permit, a health permit, and a fire department permit.

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

In Massachusetts, you need a Temporary Food Establishment Permit in order to operate a food booth. This permit is required for both mobile and stationary food establishments. To get the permit, you must first submit an application to the Department of Public Health. After the application has been reviewed, an inspection of the food booth and surrounding area will be conducted. Depending on the location, additional permits or licenses may be required.

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

In Massachusetts, a cottage food business is defined as a food product that is sold directly to consumers from a private home kitchen. To be able to start a cottage food business in Massachusetts, you must first obtain a license from your local Board of Health. You will also need to register with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and receive a state license. Additionally, you may need to obtain additional permits depending on the type of foods you are selling. These may include a food service permit and/or a permit to sell or distribute alcohol.

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

The penalty for selling food without a permit in Massachusetts is a fine of up to $300 for each day that the business is found to be in violation. If the violation persists and the business continues to operate without a permit, the business may be closed and the owners may be subject to criminal prosecution.