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Cottage Food Act of 2013

The Cottage Food Act of 2013 defines requirements and regulations for small, residential food businesses called “cottage food operations,” or CFOs. This allows individuals preparing low-risk food on a small scale to sell their goods at public events and markets.

Key features:

  • Defines a Cottage Food Operation

    • Businesses producing and packaging food out of a residential kitchen that have an annual revenue of $25,000 or less are eligible to be considered a CFO.

    • Food produced by a CFO must:1) Be prepared in a residential kitchen; 2) Be stored on the premises where it was made; and 3) Be clearly labeled with the business name and address, net weight, ingredients, allergen information, and note saying it was “made by a cottage food business that is not subject to the District of Columbia’s food safety regulations”

  • Allows these small operations to publicly sell their wares:

    • As long as it complies with these requirements, a CFO may sell its food at farmers markets and other public events.



    Current Status: This legislation is effective as of January 25, 2014 and received funding in the FY2016 budget.

    To learn more:
    View the bill’s history and the complete legislation.