Farmers Market & Cottage Food

Farmers Market

What is a Farmers' Market?

A farmers market is a common facility or area where farmers gather to sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and other locally produced farm and food products directly to consumers. In Peoria County, a farmers' market is further defined as a market where at least two (2) farmers are selling products produced on their farm.

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Cottage Food

What is Cottage Food?

A Cottage Food Operation is an operation conducted by a person who produces or packages food or drink, other than foods and drinks listed as prohibited, in a kitchen located in that person's domestic residence or another appropriately designed and equipped residential or commercial-style kitchen on that property for direct sale by the owner, a family member, or employee.

To register as a cottage food operator in Peoria County submit Cottage Food Registration Application (PDF) with $25 fee

More information on the cottage food law and allowed/prohibited foods can be found at the Illinois General Assembly - Cottage Food

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What is the Cottage Food Operation Law?

The Cottage Food Operation law (PA 097-0393) became effective in Illinois on January 1, 2012. This new law allows certain foods made in home kitchens to be sold at Illinois farmers' markets with limited regulation. Cottage food operators must meet specific requirements and be registered as a cottage food operator in the county in which they reside.

Where can Cottage Foods be Sold?

Currently, cottage foods may ONLY be sold at farmers' markets. Items produced under cottage food laws cannot be sold in retail stores, restaurants, or to other food distributors who wholesale foods.

How do I Operate under the Cottage Food Law?

1. Obtain an ANSI accredited Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) certificate.  Certificates are valid for five years.

2. Register with the local health department in the county in which you reside.  If you reside in Peoria County, you would register with the Peoria City/County Health Department by submitting a Cottage Food Operation Registration Form (PDF) along with a $25 registration       fee to EH@peoriacounty.org or in-person at 2116 N Sheridan Road, Peoria, IL.  Each cottage food operator must register annually. 

3. Follow all other requirements in the law. You are responsible for all other provisions in the law, including but not limited to:

  • Product packaging,
  • Product labeling,
  • Displaying a placard with the required language,
  • Selling allowed foods only at farmers’ markets in Illinois.

Serving Samples at the Farmers Market

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), a cottage food operation may offer samples at a farmers market either by preparing prepackaged samples in the kitchen of the cottage food operation, or by obtaining an Illinois Sampling Certificate and preparing samples on the spot at the farmers market. Certificates are valid for 3 years and cover all farmers markets statewide. 

If you already have a current Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) certificate, you can complete the Farmers Market Sampling Application for CFPMS (PDF) and mail a $10 fee to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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