What types of cottage food can a CFO prepare?

Only foods that are defined as “non-potentially hazardous” are approved for preparation by CFOs. These are foods that do not require refrigeration to keep them safe from bacterial growth that may cause illness. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will establish and maintain a list of these approved foods and will establish a process by which new foods can be added to the list and other foods can be challenged and removed. Please contact the CDPH for more information regarding non-potentially hazardous foods. 

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1. What is a Cottage Food Operation (CFO)?
2. What is meant by “private home"?
3. Can a CFO have employees?
4. Are there limitations on the size of CFO’s sales?
5. What types of cottage food can a CFO prepare?
6. What are the two categories of CFOs?
7. What is meant by “direct sale” of cottage food?
8. What is meant by “indirect sale” of cottage food?
9. Can I deliver my orders to customers using US Mail, UPS FedEx or other indirect delivery methods?
10. What are the CFO’s operational requirements?
11. What are the water sampling requirements for a CFO on a private, individual water supply (not connected to a public, treated water supply)?
12. Does a CFO need a permit to operate?
13. How much will the CFO registration or permit cost?
14. How often will a CFO be inspected?
15. What would be my food labeling requirements?
16. Can a CFO expand their home kitchen area square footage?
17. What is my legal responsibility as a cottage food operator in ensuring that my food product is safe?
18. What if I find out an ingredient I used has been recalled because it can make people sick or has been identified as the cause of food borne illness?
19. What is my liability as a cottage food business operating out of my home?
20. What other educational resources and guidelines are available to assist me in ensuring I am making a safe food product?
21. What can I do to ensure I am still meeting legal requirements if my cottage food operation grows to exceed the gross annual sales limit?
22. Where can I file a complaint about a cottage food operation or cottage food product?
23. I want to become a CFO - What should I do now?