Question: I have noticed on a Facebook page people selling baked goods out of their home. Is it legal for people to do this, or do they need a license and have to be inspected?
Answer: The state of Iowa does not regulate bakery products that do not require refrigeration and are sold from a home.
According to the Iowa Administrative Code, baked goods are "breads, cakes, doughnuts, pastries, buns, rolls, cookies, biscuits and pies (except meat pies)." The bakery products must be sold from the home and may not be sold to a business or sold wholesale.
Iowa does not prohibit someone from advertising on the Internet.
"If bakery products require refrigeration for safety or will be sold wholesale or to a business, a license is required," said Mary Rose Corrigan, public health specialist with the city of Dubuque.
The type of license required depends on several factors, including whether or not the food is sold directly to customers or to businesses. It should be noted that these sales are for bakery products only as defined by the Iowa Administrative Code.
Corrigan said when a person sells foods other than bakery products, a license is required.
The city's Health Services Department can determine what type of license is needed and the requirements, based on what is being sold and to whom. For more information, contact the Health Services Department at either 563-589-4181 or www.cityofdubuque.org/health.
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