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Home-Based Vendor Rule

Indiana House Enrolled Act 1309 allows home-based vendors (HBV) to prepare non-potentially hazardous food at their primary residence. Under this new act (which went into effect July 1, 2009), HBVs are not considered to be retail food establishments (such as restaurants, convenience stores, or grocery stores) and are exempt from many of the regulations for retail food establishments such as licensing and health department inspections.

One of the important goals of HEA 1309 is to allow for the safe production and sale of certain foods that do not present an appreciable health risk and to not allow the production and sale of potentially hazardous foods.

  • Potentially hazardous foods (PHF) cannot be sold by a home-based vendor (HBV)
    • PHFs have ingredients, packaging, or storage that allow disease-causing bacteria to grow, potentially leading to human illness.
      • Foods that have a pH greater than 4.6 and a water activity greater than 0.85 allow disease-producing bacteria to grow and are considered to be PHFs.

The list below is by no means comprehensive. If you have specific questions about your product, contact the health department or have your product evaluated by an outside expert/consultant.

Food TypeFoods That May Be Sold by HBVsFoods That May Not Be Sold by HBVs
Baked Goods
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Fruit pies
  • Cupcakes
  • Bars
  • Yeast Bread
  • Fruit Bread
  • Baguettes

Foods that contain:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Aquatic Animals
  • Non-Baked Dairy (cheese, butter, yogurt)
  • Non-Baked Egg-Containing Products
  • Whole eggs may not be sold by HBVs
Candies and Confections
  • Caramels
  • Chocolate
  • Fudge
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Chocolate Covered Fruits
  • Bonbons
  • Buckeyes
  • Chocolate Covered Nuts
Fruit and Vegetables

Unprocessed, whole, and uncut items such as:

  • Cherries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Green Beans
  • Peppers, etc.
  • Fruit-based jams and jellies (made from strawberries, blueberries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • Fermented pickles that do not require acidification and do not require refrigeration
  • Apple butter is okay (pH below 4.6) Dried herbs, fruit, vegetables
  • Canned products that are shelf-stable and in hermetically sealed containers such as salsas, chutney, chow-chow, and canned vegetables
  • Pickled vegetables (beets, pickles) that are shelf-stable
  • Cut tomatoes and cut melons
  • Garlic-in-oil mixtures, herb and oil mixtures
  • Raw seed sprouts
  • Fruit butters (i.e. pear, pumpkin) - pH above 4.6
Meat, Poultry, Seafood
  • None may be sold by a HBV
  • Canned products that are shelf-stable and in hermetically sealed containers such as canned vegetables, canned meats, and canned seafood
Tree Nut and Legumes
  • Peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, etc.
  • Honey, molasses, sorghum, maple syrup

Where can foods prepared by HBVs be sold?

HBVs may only sell their foods at farmer's markets and roadside stands. HBV foods may not be sold at any other venue including retail food establishments (restaurants, grocery stores, etc.), flea markets, festivals, carnivals, or any other event.

Labeling Requirements of Foods Produced by HBVs

All HBV foods that are formulated and prepared in a private residence must be labeled, "This product is home-produced and processed and the production area has not been inspected by the Health Department".

Labels must also contain:

  • the name of the product
  • a list of ingredients in descending order of predominance
  • net weight, volume, or item count
  • the date which the product was processed

Product Liability for Foods Produced by HBVs

Product liability is an important consideration for food produced by HBVs. Because these foods are not inspected by regulatory agencies, liability insurance may be difficult to obtain. HBVs are advised to contact their legal counsel and/or insurance provider for advice.

Click here to read THE RULE - House Enrolled Act 1309

Contact Resources for HBVs

  1. Your local health department - 812-738-3237.
  2. Indiana State Department of Health Food Protection Program - 317-233-7360.
  3. Your county Purdue Extension office - 812-738-4236. Purdue food scientists, Dr. Richard Linton ( and Dr. Kevin Keener ( are also available to answer questions.
  4. A special link has been created on the Purdue Food Science website: Here you will find a list of frequently asked questions, the guidance document prepared by the Indiana State Department of Health, and a copy of HEA 1309.