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HB 970 Summary

Senate Sponsor: Bob Deuell
Effective Date September 1, 2013



1. You may sell the following homemade food items:
  • Baked goods that do not require refrigeration, such as cakes, cookies, breads, and pastries.
  • Candy
  • Coated and uncoated nuts
  • Unroasted nut butters
  • Fruit butters
  • Canned jams and jellies
  • Fruit pies
  • Dehydrated fruits and vegetables including dried beans
  • Popcorn and popcorn snacks
  • Cereal, including granola
  • Dry mixes
  • Vinegar
  • Pickles
  • Mustard
  • Roasted coffee or dry tea
  • Dried herbs or herb mixes  

2. You must earn $50,000 or less per year from the sale of the above food items.

3. No health department or local government authority can regulate your production of these items. There are no licenses, registration, or permits required by state law. (With the exception of a food handler's card, see item 10.)

4. If DSHS or your local health department has reason to believe your operation poses an immediate and serious threat to human life or health, they may take action, including getting a warrant to enter your home, and shutting down your operation.

5. You may sell the food at your home, deliver the food to your customer, or sell your food at the following locations: farmers’ markets, farm stands, or municipal, county, or nonprofit fairs, festivals, or events.

6. Your food must be packaged in a way that prevents the product from becoming contaminated. Items that are too large or bulky for conventional packaging, like wedding cakes or cupcake bouquets, are not required to be packaged.

7. Your food must be labeled according to the labeling requirements. The label must be affixed to the package, except for items that are too large or bulky for packaging; in that case the label may be incorporated into the invoice.

8. You may not sell your food over the internet (for example: Etsy), and you may not ship your product.

9. You may not sell wholesale: in other words, you must sell your product directly to the end consumer. You may not sell your food to a reseller such as a grocery store, restaurant, or coffee shop.

10. You must obtain a food handler’s card by January 1, 2014. If you have anyone assisting you in the preparation of your product, such as an employee, they must also obtain a card if at any time they will be unsupervised by you. This does not include members of your household.

11. You may not sell any food which requires time and temperature control to prevent spoilage - this is known as a "potentially hazardous food".  However, you may use potentially hazardous products in your food, like milk, eggs, and cream, as long as your FINAL PRODUCT does not require refrigeration (cakes, cookies, candy, etc).

12. No municipal zoning ordinance can prevent you from having a cottage food operation in your home. However, your neighbors can still take action against you if your business becomes a nuisance to them.