Seminar To Focus on Licensing for Cottage Food Operations

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The University of Illinois Macon County Extension is offering a “From Garden Gates to Dinner Plates” program from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17. To learn more about Illinois' cottage food regulations, register online or call (217) 877-6042.

For more information on creating a Cottage Food business, contact the Macon County Health Department at (217) 423-6988.

DECATUR – Snuggled up next to the traditional booths of lush broccoli and bright tomatoes at farmers markets are their newer, sugary cousins: cookies, breads, jams and jellies.

Since 2011, the Illinois Cottage Food Operation Act has allowed for some foods baked at home to be sold at farmers markets. These foods can be prepared without investing in a license and expense of a commercial home kitchen.

In June, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation further supporting home kitchen businesses in Illinois. The “cupcake bill” was inspired after 12-year-old Chloe Stirling's home-based cupcake business was shut down in Troy.

The new law amends the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act, allowing home kitchen operations to sell certain foods for nonprofits as long as monthly sales don't exceed $1,000.

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