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Does your home food business pass cottage laws?

Posted at 5:41 PM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 18:52:35-05

In South Texas, it's common to see people selling tamales, sweets, or even enchilada plates made from scratch in their homes.

But what many don't know is that the food must pass Texas cottage food laws.

"Ninety-nine percent of people who we come across doing home based businesses, most of them have never heard of cottage food laws, and those are the rules and regulates what a person can and cannot sell from their home," the Nueces Co. Health Department food inspector Jennifer Richter.

Foods that are not permitted are anything meat-based, proteins, or refrigerated foods, because they require time or temperature controls to prevent spoiling.

Foods such as baked goods, cookies, cakes, and cupcakes are allowed to be sold.

Anyone who is ever selling food, has to have their food-handlers permit showing at all times. That two-year permit can be obtained through the health department online or in person.

But still, the health department is seeing more people using social media to advertise home-based food businesses that don't meet these requirements.

"People who have been reporting someone selling, have sent us some photos of what the home is like on the inside, and we have seen some very unsanitary situations, so it's concerning to us," said Richter.

If food doesn't pass the Texas Cottage Food Law, fines can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000.

If you are interested in getting your food-handlers permit or to see your food abides by the Texas Cottage Food Law, visit the Corpus Christi Health Department Website for more information.