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Environmental Health

California Homemade Food Act (AB1616)

In September 2012, the California Homemade Food Act (AB1616), also known as the Cottage Food Act, was signed into law. This law allows small food businesses that produce "low-risk foods" (such as bake goods, candies, jam/jellies, desserts, and nuts) to operate out of a private home with limited regulatory oversight, as long as certain criteria are met.

This new law becomes effective January 1, 2013. The law requires numerous implementations that will be set forth by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

If you have further questions, please call us at (415) 252-3981.

Do you qualify as a Cottage Food Operation? Follow the CCDEH Cottage Food Operations Flow Chart (pdf) to find out!

Obtaining a Cottage Food Operation (CFO) Permit

Use the following table to better understand what class of CFO your business would qualify as and the documents needed to apply for a CFO permit.

Class A
Class B
Cottage Food
  • Direct sales from the CFO to the consumer
  • Indirect sales – sales from CFO to Retail Food Facility (e.g., markets, bakeries, restaurants)
  • Direct sales from the CFO to the consumer
Approved Foods

Gross Sales Limit

Calendar Year

Gross Sales

2013

$35,000 or less

2014

$45,000 or less

2015 and on

$50,000 or less

Calendar Year

Gross Sales

2013

$35,000 or less

2014

$45,000 or less

2015 and on

$50,000 or less

Application
& Fees
  1. Permit Application Packet (pdf)*
  2. Copy of Food Label(s)
  3. Copy of Business Registration Certificate
  4. Zoning Referral Form (pdf)
  5. Written Operational Procedure (pdf) for each food product
  6. Fees - Zoning Referral Fee only**

  1. Permit Application Packet (pdf)*
  2. Copy of Food Label(s)
  3. Copy of Business Registration Certificate
  4. Zoning Referral Form (pdf)
  5. Written Operational Procedure (pdf) for each food product
  6. Fees - Health Application and Zoning Referral Fee**

Inspections

  • Consumer complaint inspections

  • Annual routine inspection and consumer complaint inspections
Restrictions

  • The CFO Owner shall be a sole owner or sole proprietor.

  • The CFO Owner shall be a sole owner or sole proprietor.

 

Send all application forms, documents and fees to:
  • Environmental Health Protection, Equity, and Sustainability Branch
  • Attn: Food Safety Program
  • 1390 Market Street, Suite 210
  • San Francisco, CA 94102

* Permit Application Packet includes:

  1. Application for a Food Permit to Operate
  2. CFO Checklist and Requirements
  3. Declaration of Healthy and Safe Working Conditions
  4. Workers' Compensation Declaration
  5. Labor Law Checklist for San Francisco Business Owners

 

** All fees are nontransferable and nonrefundable.