Allowed and Forbidden Foods for New York Cottage Food Operators

By: Eric Greenbaum

New York’s cottage food law limits the types of foods home processors are allowed to make and sell.  Don’t worry though, there are lots and lots of options for your home food business! 

Generally, home food operators are allowed to make foods that are not associated with a history of food borne illness and the nature of the product makes the possibility of food borne illness less likely.  These types of foods are referred to as “non-potentially hazardous” foods.

The foods that are approved for Home Food Processors are:

  • Breads
    • Breads containing fruits and/or vegetables are not allowed
  • Rolls and/or cinnamon rolls
  • Biscuits
  • Bagels
  • Muffins
  • Doughnuts
  • Cookies
  • Baklava
  • Biscotti
    • No chocolate or candy melts allowed for topping
  • Cakes
  • Cake pops
    • No chocolate or candy melts allowed for topping
  • Cupcakes
  • Brownies
  • Double-crust fruit pies
  • Scones
  • Fruit jams, jellies, and marmalades made with high acid/low pH fruits
    • i.e. Apple, apricot, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, clementine, cranberry, currents, elderberry, grape, grapefruit, lemon, lime, nectarine, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, raspberry and strawberry
  • Repacking/blending of commercially dried spices or herbs
  • Repackaging dried or dehydrated vegetables.
  • Repackaging dried soup mixes
  • Repackaging dried fruit
  • Repackaging of dried pasta
    • The manufacturing and drying of pasta is prohibited
  • Repackaging dry baking mixes
  • Seasoning salt
  • Fudge
  • Popcorn/caramel corn
  • Peanut brittle
  • Rice Krispies treats
  • Granola and trail mix (using commercially roasted nuts)
  • Granola Bars (using commercially roasted nuts)
  • Repacking candy (excluding chocolate)
    • Melting and/or repacking of exposed chocolates or chocolate-like candies is not allowed
  • Waffle cones and Pizzelle
  • Toffee/caramel apples
    • Candy melts are not allowed
  • Confections
    • Includes toffees, caramels, hard candies
  • Vegetable chips
    • Includes potato chips
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels

The foods that are prohibited for Home Food Processors are:

Generally speaking any food product that requires refrigeration is not allowed to be produced by cottage food operators (Home Food Processors.)

Some examples of prohibited items include but are not limited to the following:

  • Homemade buttercream/cream cheese frosting containing dairy or eggs
  • Breads containing fruits or vegetables
  • Products containing alcohol
  • “No-bake” products (all products must be baked to ensure product stability)
  • Pickles, relishes, or sauerkraut
  • Sauces, salsas, marinades, mustards, ketchups
  • Pepper jellies, wine jellies, vegetable jellies, flower jellies, chutneys, fruit syrups
  • Cooked or canned fruits or vegetables
  • Vegetable oils, blended oils, salad dressings
  • Cheesecake, cream filled pastries, cream pies, meringue pies
  • Tempered chocolate/candy melt/almond bark for dipping/coating/drizzling (i.e. cocoa bombs, chocolate candy, chocolate/candy melt covered fruits, etc.)
  • Any products containing raw nuts
  • Cheese, yogurt, fluid dairy products, butters
  • Meat, fish, or poultry products
  • Beverages
  • Roasted coffee beans
  • Nut butters
  • Freeze-dried foods
  • Compotes
  • Spreads
  • Quiche
  • Fudge/caramel sauces


Eric is a baker, lawyer, scientist, and gardener. He enjoys developing and training health regulations and operating procedures. His favorite nosh is apple blueberry tart.