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Cottage Food Operator (CFO)

Cottage Food is prepared food perceived to be low-risk for food-related injury or illness.  As a low-risk product, Cottage Food can be prepared in a home environment without some of the controls used for a traditional ready-to-eat food such as those foods sold in a restaurant or grocery store.  A listing of such foods is specified in our Guide for Cottage Food Operators.


If the food you desire to produce as a CFO is not included in the list of acceptable foods in the Guide for Cottage Food Operators you may submit an application for review.


Before You Apply:    


The following documentation must be attached and submitted with a completed application.  Do not submit the application until you are able to provide these items: 

Application Information:

  • You may begin the online application process, or download a paper application to print on your own here.

Additional Information:

Buttercream Frostings

There have been numerous questions on which buttercream frosting or icings recipes are acceptable, which are not and which recipes need further review.  In response to these inquiries we have put together this guide on how can  assure your buttercream frostings and icings are safe and approved.

  1. Use a store-bought, commercially prepared frosting which has already been made shelf-stable.
  2. Use fondant only.
  3. Have a sample of your frosting tested.  Food testing laboratories can test your frosting for pH and water activity. 
  4. Use a buttercream frosting or icing recipes that does not contain butter, eggs, cream, or cream cheese but rather but rather is solely composed of shelf stable non-perishable ingredients such as shortening, sugar, commercially produced meringue powder and food color.
  5. Use a tested recipe, as an example the has recipes for several safe frostings.  The recipes were tested and shown to be non-potentially hazardous, but you MUST follow the directions exactly with no substitutions and would need to have whichever recipe(s) you want to use tested yourself.  Send the independent laboratory results in with your sample label and CFO application.

All your ingredients must be included on the primary label of your product and the labels must be reviewed by the Department. If your frostings include any unacceptable ingredients, you will be required to have the product reviewed or have it tested to demonstrate that the frosting is non-potentially hazardous.


Consumer Protection does not collect tax information or payments but since this issue seems to come up a lot please be aware that businesses in the State of Connecticut are required to fill out a Businesses Taxes Registration Form and submit it to the Department of Revenue Services. Those forms, instructions, and other helpful information about starting a business are listed below.

Those with questions about taxes may contact the Department of Revenue Services at (860) 297-5962, or via email at


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