Regulations on the cottage food industry are constantly changing and have undergone an overhaul in recent years as the number of small food manufacturers seeking to sell their products has increased (via The Washington Post). As the pandemic closed restaurants and businesses, people started looking for other ways to make ends meet, and a new wave of artisan food makers was created. Otherwise, how were people going to get all that sourdough out of their kitchens?
If you’re interested in marketing your baked goods, Food Safety News says you’re primarily covered by homemade food regulations when considering selling low-risk foods. Most baked goods do not contain perishable ingredients that require refrigeration. although many baked goods include milk, eggs, etc., they have been baked at temperatures high enough to make these ingredients stable and safe to eat. Cottage food laws make an exception when high-risk ingredients like meat and custards are included in baked goods. Other low-risk foods that most states allow are products like fruit-based jams and chutneys that are less prone to bacterial growth due to their naturally high acidity levels.
Cabin food regulations generally prohibit high-risk foods like meat, dairy, fresh vegetables, and baked goods with perishable ingredients (think meringue pie or pigs in a blanket). These foods are not naturally acidic and are at a higher risk of spoiling. Less stable foods can grow bacteria and spread foodborne illnesses that put consumers at risk.