New rules for home-based processors

Published 8:03 pm Tuesday, July 30, 2019

By Lora Davidson

UK Extension Office

Earlier this year, Kentucky lawmakers passed HB468, which further defined who qualifies to be a home-based processor and what products they can make. This bill went into effect on June 14.

Email newsletter signup

Home-based processors are Kentucky residents who make value-added products in their home kitchens. Processors may sell these products throughout the state at farmers markets, certified roadside stands, community events, fairs, festivals and from the home-based processor’s home.

As a home-based processor, you are not required to grow any ingredient in your products. You can only sell your products within Kentucky and cannot earn an annual gross income of more than $60,000 from product sales. Home-based processors cannot mail or ship products to customers, and they cannot sell products to restaurants, grocery stores, wholesale distributors or any other retail outlet for further sale.

This law also limits the types of foods home processors can make. Home-based processors cannot process foods that require refrigeration or freezing. They must be shelf stable. Allowable foods include:

• Whole fruits and vegetables;

• Dried or freeze-dried fruits and vegetables;

• Mixed greens;

• Fruit jams, jellies and preserves (this does not include low and/or no sugar varieties and pepper jellies);

• Fruit butters;

• Sweet sorghum syrup;

• Maple syrup;

• Bread;

• Cookies;

• Cakes;

• Candy (no alcohol);

• Fruit pies;

• Pecan pies;

• Dried herbs and spices;

• Dried grains;

• Nuts;

• Granola;

• Trail or snack mix;

• Popcorn with or without added seasonings.

Products must be properly labeled and include the common name of the product, name and address of the home-based processing operation, net weight (or volume) or numerical count, date processed, ingredient list and allergy information. Processors must list all ingredients in descending order on the label and include the sentence, “This product is home-produced and processed” in 10-point type.

Starting Jan. 1, anyone who wants to become a home-based processor will have to register with the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Food Safety Branch. There is a $50 annual registration fee. For the remainder of this year though, there is no registration process or fee.

If you have questions about registration, fees, allowable products or labeling, contact Virginia Hamilton, program coordinator for home-based processing at or at 502-564-7181. Additional information is available at the Harlan County Extension office.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.