Candies and confections cover a wide range of artistically made sweet foods, many of which can be made in a home kitchen. Certain candies are considered non-potentially hazardous foods under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act and can be sold as cottage foods.
- Include chocolate candies, caramels, hard candies, gum drops, taffy, pre-packaged cotton candy, marshmallows, peppermints and others
- Can be soft and chewy or hard and brittle
- Are made by cooking sugar or other sweeteners and controlling the transition back to room temperature
- Vary by length of cooking time and ingredients
Safely Providing Samples
Samples must be offered in a sanitary manner using single-use service items such as disposable cups and spoons. Servers must wear a new pair of gloves when preparing samples and/ or use clean utensils when handling samples.
Food Safety Concerns
Fruit or other flavored fillings in candies can pose food safety hazards and must be of adequate pH, viscosity, and water activity level to be permitted under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act. Chocolate “bloom,” the white chalky appearance chocolate acquires when exposed to changes in temperature, is not a food safety concern but does impact visual appeal of the product.
Products must be packaged in food grade materials. All cottage food products must display the information required by the Colorado Cottage Foods Act and outlined by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Q: Are candies made with alcoholic liquors allowed?
A: Yes, candies and confections produced with alcohol are allowed. It is recommended to clearly label the product as containing alcohol.
Q: Can I sell chocolate covered nuts?
A: Yes, chocolate covered nuts are allowed under the Cottage Food Act.
Q: Can I spin cotton candy at events and sell directly to consumers?
A: No, under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act legislation, cotton candy can must be pre-packaged and properly labeled.
- Colorado State University Extension: http://extension.colostate.edu
- Colorado Farm to Market http://cofarmtomarket.com/
Colorado Cottage Foods Act
Colorado Senate Bill 12-048 allows individuals to produce, sell, and store a limited number of specific, non-potentially hazardous ‘cottage food’ products, in a home kitchen. Cottage food businesses require no license or permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and are not inspected by any state or local government entity. Products must be sold directly by the cottage foods operator to an informed end consumer and gross sales for each product produced must not exceed $10,000 annually. Sales outside of the state of Colorado are prohibited.
Allowed Cottage Food Products in Colorado
A limited range of foods that are non-potentially hazardous and do not require refrigeration are allowed. These foods include spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butter, flour, baked goods including candies, fruit empanadas and tortillas, and pickled fruits and vegetables.
General Labeling Requirements
A cottage food operation may only sell products offered with a label containing the following information (printed in English):
Food Safety Training
Although a cottage food kitchen does not require licensure, the producer does need to obtain food safety training. The Colorado Cottage Food Act requires “a producer must take a food safety course that includes basic food handling training and is comparable to, or is a course given by, the Colorado State University Extension service or a state, county, or district public health agency, and must maintain a status of good standing in accordance with the course requirements, including attending any additional classes if necessary.”
Trainings that CSU Extension offers include face-to-face as well as online classes, varying in length and cost. Contact your CSU Extension county office for more details: http://extension.colostate.edu. For information on class offerings near you, visit: https://foodsmartcolorado.colostate.edu/food-safety/cottage-retail-foods/.