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Act 1040 of 2021, also known as the Arkansas Food Freedom Act, expands home-based food production of "non-time/temperature control for safety" (Non-TCS) food items. Review the Homemade Food Production Guidelines by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) for additional guidance and resources
on how to produce homemade food products covered by the new law.
The law does not exempt home-based food producers from the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. All product made must be unadulterated and branded appropriately.
For additional policy specific information, the Arkansas Public Policy Center has developed a fact sheet and blog post to educated the public on the new rule.
Homemade Non-TCS food are food or drink products that do not require refrigeration
to prevent the growth of microorganisms and are produced in the private residence
of the producer. These items are non-potentially hazardous food that do not require an Arkansas Department
of Health permit and can only be sold directly to the consumer.
The list of allowable foods in Arkansas include:
NOTE: Bakery products, jams, jellies and fruit butter made with splenda and similar
sugar substitutes are considered potentially hazardous food and are not covered by
the Arkansas Food Freedom Act
However, not all foods can be made at home and sold to the public. We are currently developing a flowchart to help producers navigate which products
can be homemade or manufactured in a permitted facility.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Environmental Health Specialist
at your local health department (also known as the local health unit).
1. Know your recipe - Use a recipe verified for food safety. This is especially important for canned
products such as pickles and salsas. The National Center for Home Food Preservation provides research-based recipes that meet the criteria under ADH guidelines for homemade food products.
2. Log production - keep a record of every batch of product made that includes:
3. Log pH data - Some products, such as acidified vegetables (pickles), require a recipe that achieves
a pH of 4.6 or lower to ensure food safety. Producers wanting to make these types
of product must do one of the following:
4. Label appropriately - Ensure your label provides all information required by law. This ensures easier
traceback in case of a quality concern or food illness. Producers who do not wish
to disclose personal information for safety reasons may request an identification number provided by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
5. Know your market - The direct-to-consumer marketplace is a low capital entry point to start your food
business. However, this is a small segment within the packaged food industry. Most
grocery stores and food retail establishments source food products made in permitted
and inspected facilities. Also, if selling product out-of-state, understand the rules
regarding homemade food sales in those states as these laws may differ from Arkansas
This law does not provide exemptions from the following:
ADH investigations - ADH can still conduct investigations and ensure adulterated or misbranded food
is not introduced into commerce.
Liability - The law does not protect the producer if an injury or illness results from the
production or consumption of a homemade product. Consider purchasing a food liability
Business requirements - The law does not exempt producers from acquiring business licensure, certificates,
and recording taxes. If you need assistance with setting up your business, contact
the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center for free consultation services.
Staff with the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture and the Arkansas
Health Department teamed up to provide information about the Arkansas Food Freedom
Act and to answer questions from a live audience. This webinar also resulted in a
Frequently Asked Questions document.
Arkansas Department of Health - contact the Environmental Health Specialist at your
local health department
Meat products must be made in an inspected facility. Visit our Animal Science webpage for additional resources and contacts.
If you have a recipe that needs to be verified for food safety, visit the AFDO Food Processing Authority Directory.
If you purchased a homemade food product and have a complaint, contact the Arkansas
Department of Health at email@example.com with the subject line, Arkansas Food Freedom Act product complaint.
Food products not allowed for home-based production under the Arkansas Food Freedom
Act are considered "Manufactured Foods". Manufactured foods require a higher level of food safety due to potential hazards
that could cause food illnesses. Some examples of manufactured food include:
These items will need to be approved and made in a facility inspected and permitted
as a "Manufactured/Wholesale Food Establishment" by the Arkansas Department of Health.
The Share Grounds facilities are permitted by the Arkansas Department of Health and are a space available to
clients who want to develop, test and produce manufactured food products.
Visit our Share Grounds webpage and contact the Share Grounds manager for more information.