Cottage Food Operations
AB 1616, the California Homemade Food Act allows certain low risk foods to be made in private homes and sold to the public. This type of home-based business is known as a Cottage Food Operation or CFO. To see if your business qualifies as a CFO business and how to obtain a permit go to the Cottage Food Permitting Flow Chart. (PDF, 2MB)
You can use the home's kitchen for the preparation, packaging, storage, or handling of cottage food products, as well as the ingredients and equipment that you use to make these products. Additional rooms within the same home as the home kitchen are to be used only for storage of sealed packaged food, ingredients, clean utensils, and clean equipment. No operations will take place in the out-of-doors, garage, out-buildings, or other location that is not inside the private home kitchen or storage rooms.
As a CFO, you are allowed to prepare only non-potentially hazardous foods in the home you live in. The food you wish to prepare must be listed on the State's approved list of food products, provided below. You are allowed to sell the food you prepared to the public, either directly or indirectly. How you decide to sell the cottage food will determine the class of CFO and the application process you will need to follow.
The California State Department of Public Health maintains a list of approved cottage foods list that are acceptable for CFO production at a private home. Please understand that CFOs may ONLY produce food from this list. All cottage food products must be properly packaged and labeled. See Labeling Requirements for Cottage Food Products for more information.
A "Class A" CFO can only sell cottage foods directly to the consumer and is required to register with Fresno County Environmental Health Division by completing and submitting the California Homemade Food Act AB 1616 (Gatto) Registration / Permitting Form(PDF, 202KB) and a Self-Certification Compliance(PDF, 102KB). Once these forms are approved by this office, you will also need to complete an Environmental Health Application and pay the applicable fees. This is best done in our office.
Direct sales can be made:
- From your home
- At community events, bake sales, church events
- At farm stands and certified farmers' markets
- Through community-supported agriculture subscription
Direct sales under b, c, and d above, may require additional permits.
A "Class B" CFO can sell cottage foods directly to the consumer, as with Class A, and may also sell indirectly to consumers within Fresno County. A "Class B" CFO is required to register with Fresno County Environmental Health Division by completing and submitting the California Homemade Food Act AB 1616 (Gatto) Registration / Permitting Form(PDF, 202KB) and a Cottage Food Operational Statement(PDF, 102KB). Once these forms are approved by this office, you will also need to complete an Environmental Health Application and pay the applicable fees. This is best done in our office. Then we need to inspect your CFO business at your private home and if everything meets code requirements, a permit will be issued.
In addition to direct sales, indirect sales can be made to:
- Permitted restaurant*
- Permitted grocery / food market retail*
- Permitted mobile food facility (i.e. food trucks)*
* No CFO food products may be used as ingredients in another retailer's food they produce for their business.
How much does it cost to become a CFO in Fresno County?
Class A - one time review fee of $144
Class B - one time review fee of $281 plus $125 per year for annual kitchen inspection
Location: 1221 Fulton Street, 3rd Floor
Mailing Address: PO Box 11867, Fresno CA 93775-1867
Phone: (559) 600-3357
Fax: (559) 455-4646
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
(Closed 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)