All cottage food operators and any persons preparing or packaging products as part of a cottage food operation must have completed the American National Standards Institute accredited Certified Food Protection Managers course and exam prior to registering the cottage food operation with the local health department. Some county Extension offices offer the CFPM course. If the cottage food operation resides in the city of Chicago, the cottage food operator must also obtain a Chicago Department of Public Health food service sanitation certificate.
- Selling at a Chicago farmers market? The City of Chicago has additional requirements. See Chicago Cottage Food Operation Limitations on this site for more information.
As a cottage food operator, you must register with the county health department where you reside. You'll receive an identification registration number you need to included on the package label. Learn more on our Food Labeling and Placards page.
You must register with the county health department each year. The health department may impose a fee not to exceed $50.
Illinois Department of Public Health or a unit of local government handles consumer complaints and the enforcement of guidelines, including times it believes an imminent health hazard exists or that a cottage food operation's product is misbranded, adulterated, or not in compliance with the cottage food law.
The Illinois Department of Public Health or local health department may:
- Inspect the premises of the cottage food operation in question
- Set a reasonable fee for the inspection
- Invoke penalties and force the cessation of the sale of cottage food products until it deems that the situation has been addressed to the satisfaction of the department or local health department. If the situation is not amenable to being addressed, the local health department may revoke the cottage food operation’s registration following a process outlined by the local health department.