Delaware Department of

On-Farm Kitchens

Adopted in 2006, the On-Farm Home Processing of Non-Potentially Hazardous Foods regulations were established to allow farm families the ability to process non-potentially hazardous foods in their on-farm home kitchens for sale to the public at farmers’ markets recognized by the Department, on their farm or at a roadside stand on or near their farm.

Members of the farm family who will be producing non-potentially hazardous items must attend training identified by the Delaware Department of Agriculture to learn how to

identify potentially hazardous and non-potentially hazardous foods; understand food-borne pathogens and ways to control them; reduce the risk of food-borne illness; evaluate their plan for controlling potential microbial problems; and understand state regulations on farm-produced, non-potentially hazardous food items. Once the participants take the training and pass a written test, the Food Products Inspection staff conducts an on-farm kitchen inspection. If the kitchen passes inspection, food will be allowed to be produced in accordance with Delaware regulations.


Non-Potentially Hazardous Foods

In an on-farm kitchen, the person on the farm producing food items that are non-potentially hazardous foods, are limited to:

  • Baked breads, cakes, muffins, or cookies with a water activity of .85 or less
  • Candy (non-chocolate)
  • Containerized fruit preparations consisting of jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades, and fruit butters with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less or a water activity of 0.85 or less;
  • Fruit pies with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less;
  • Herbs in vinegar with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less;
  • Honey and herb mixtures; and
  • Dried fruit and vegetables;
  • Spices or herbs
  • Maple syrup and sorghum
  • Snack items such as popcorn, caramel corn, and peanut brittle
  • Roasted nuts

Potentially Hazardous Foods

While operating an on-farm kitchen, the person responsible may not process potentially hazardous foods for commercial sale such as:

  • Low-acid canned foods, such as home-canned or jarred fruits, vegetables, pickled products, sauces, relishes;
  • Cream, custard, pumpkin, meat, or other single-crust pies or cream or cheese-filled baked goods;
  • Cured or fermented foods;
  • Seafood; or
  • Apple cider or other juices.


Labeling of product made is required by law and is extremely important for trace backs in case of food-borne illnesses and to allow the consumer to review the ingredients in case of any food-related concerns that may affect their well-being. Compliance inspectors within the Delaware Department of Agriculture check for labels and can require products to be removed from sale if the labeling is not done correctly. In order for a product to be considered properly labeled it must include the following:

  • Name of product
  • Name and address of manufacturer
  • Ingredients listed in decreasing order by weight
  • Net weight or unit count
  • The following statement in ten (10) point type: “This product is home-produced and processed”
  • The date the product was processed.

Food products identified as non-potentially hazardous in these regulations and not labeled in accordance with subsection (9.1) of the regulations are deemed misbranded.

Food products identified above as non-potentially hazardous foods and are produced, processed, and labeled in accordance with the On-Farm Home Processing of Non-Potentially Hazardous Foods regulations are acceptable food products that may only be offered for sale by farmers’ markets, roadside produce stands, or the processor’s farm.

Getting Permitted

Before an on-farm kitchen can apply and receive a permit, the farm owner must:

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