QUESTION: The cottage food law is strict about animals in the house ( I have many!). If I can create a space at home that is animal free, I’m hoping that will be okay. I don’t need sinks or stoves or anything else. Just a work table and place to store supplies. Do you know if this would work?
ANSWER: First off, animals + food = yuck. Don’t talk to customers about how you have many animals in the house. That’s just not very tasty, unless you’re making pet food (which is a type of food you need to also check if your state and / or local laws allow).
Second, your public health department is a much better place to get the direct answer to your question. Laws vary by state. For example California’s Homemade Food Law allows pets in the house but not in the room where you’re preparing food. Same with Vermont. Ironically, a state that is liberal in many interesting activities that other states don’t allow says no pets ever: Nevada.
The bottomline is reviewing your states laws, talking to the department that oversees licensing, and minimizing discussing your pets with food-buying customers are key to running a home-based food business in a home shared with dogs, cats, goldfish and guinea pigs.
Forrager.com is a quick portal to all state home-based cottage food laws.