Starting a Food Business in Alabama from Home

November 21, 2015 | By | Reply More

state by state guide to starting a food business

Any food product sold in Alabama must comply with the regulations set by the Alabama Department of Public Health. To start a food business in Alabama, start by contacting:

Division of Food, Milk, and Lodging
Food Establishment Scores Database

Alabama Department of Public Health
The RSA Tower
201 Monroe Street, Suite 1250
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 206-5373
Fax: (334) 206-5788

Home Based Food Business (Cottage Food Production) in Alabama

Alabama allows the production and selling of certain food products from home. Cottage food production is governed by Alabama’s Cottage Food Law SB 159 that went into effect on June 1, 2014.

Salient points of the rules governing home-based food businesses in Alabama include:

What can you sell

  • A home-based food business is allowed to make and sell baked goods (cakes, breads, Danish, donuts, pastries, pies, and other items prepared by baking the item in the oven), canned jam or jelly, dried herb or herb mix, or candy.
  • You are prohibited from selling “potentially hazardous food items,” such as perishable baked goods, foods with meat, sauces, salsas, juices, pickles, among others. You are not allowed to sell food that require time or temperature control required for safety, such as custard pies, Danish with cream filling, soft or hard cheeses, or milk products.

Sales limitation

  • You are limited to $20,000 of sales per year.

Required training

  • While your food products are not subject to inspection by the local public health department, you have to attend and pass a food safety course approved by the health department every five years. Examples of courses that you can attend that complies with the law include the ServSafe Certification provided by Alabama Extension.

Where you can sell

  • You are only allowed to sell directly to consumers, whether delivery or pickup. Allowed venues to sell include your home, events such as food sale by charitable/civic/not-for-profit organizations, roadside stands or farmers market.
  • You are prohibited from selling your home-made food products on the Internet, to restaurants, grocery stores and retail stores.

Labeling requirements

  • You need to label all goods produced with: (a) your business name; (b) address, and (c ) a statement that the food is not inspected by the health department.

Food Laws in Alabama

Regulations on Other Types of Food Businesses:

For information on business registration, taxes, legal structure, and other information on starting a business, visit our How to Start a Business in Alabama

Recommended Books on Starting a Food Business:


Isabel Isidro

Isabel Isidro is the co-founder of A mom of three boys, avid vintage postcard collector, frustrated scrapbooker, she also manages Women Home Business, Starting Up Tips and Learning from Big Boys. Connect with her in Google +.

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Starting a Food Business in Alabama from Home
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Starting a Food Business in Alabama from Home
Any food product sold in Alabama must comply with the regulations set by the public health dept. Read this article to start a food business in Alabama
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