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Food Vendor

KDA Markets requires all vendors selling food/drinks to be in compliance with all local, state and Federal laws including Harris County Health Department and TDA.

Any changes will be given by written notice via this website, email and/or social media as needed.

Minimum Requirements for Food /Drink Sales:

  • Current Business Liability Insurance

  • Current up to date Food Handler Permits for employees who will be handling/preparing the food.

  • Current Harris County Health Permits for Farmer Market Permit which replaces Samplers & Temporary Event Permits. (July, 2021)

Labeling Food Products

Labels must be on all pre-prepared food products. 
The labels must include the following information:

  • The name and physical address of the cottage food production operation;

  • The common or usual name of the product;

  • If a food is made with a major food allergen, such as eggs, nuts, soy, peanuts, milk or wheat that ingredient must be listed on the label; and

  • The following statement: "This food is made in a home kitchen and is not inspected by the Department of State Health Services or a local health department."

  • Labels must be legible.

  • Also, cottage operator selling frozen raw or uncut fruits must label or provide on invoice or receipt the following statement in at least 12-point font: "SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria, keep this food frozen until preparing for consumption."

  • For each batch of pickled fruit or vegetables, fermented vegetable products, or plant-based acidified canned goods, a cottage food production operation must: label the batch with a unique number.  

If the product is a TCS (Time and Temperature Controlled Safety):
Food/Drink Items must be kept on temperature at all times during delivery and throughout the market day. 
You must bring the proper temperature thermometer required by HCPH to check your temperatures for hot and cold Foods. 

Some foods can be made in home kitchens while other foods will need to be made in a commercial kitchen.  
For more information please refer to the previous page for the link to Harris County Health Department FAQ & Other Pages on our site.  

Link to Health and Safety Codes for Texas State Government Statutes Regarding Food/Drink Safety: (CTRL F to filter word search)


What is a cottage food production operation?
A cottage food production operation is defined as an individual, operating out of the individual's home, who:


  • Produces at the individual's home: 

    • a baked good that is not a time and temperature control for safety (TCS) food (A baked good is a food item prepared by baking the item in an oven, which includes cookies, cakes, breads, Danish pastries, donuts, pastries, pies, and other items that are prepared by baking. A baked good cannot be and does not include a time and temperature control for safety food (TCS).) 

    • candy,

    • coated and uncoated nuts, 

    • unroasted nut butters, 

    • fruit butters,

    • a canned jam or jelly, 

    • a fruit pie, 

    • dehydrated fruit or vegetables, including dried beans, 

    • popcorn and popcorn snacks, 

    • cereal, including granola, dry mix, 

    • vinegar, pickled fruit or vegetables, including beets and carrots, that are preserved in vinegar, brine, or similar solution at an equilibrium pH values of 4.6 or less, 

    • mustard, 

    • roasted coffee or dry tea, 

    • a dried herb or dried herb mix, 

    • plant-based acidified canned goods, fermented vegetable products, including products that are refrigerated to preserve quality, 

    • frozen raw and uncut fruit or vegetables, 

    • or any other food that is not a time and temperature control for safety food.

Has an annual gross income of $50,000 or less from the sale of described food.  Sells foods produced directly to consumers.
Delivers products to the consumer at the point of sale or another location designated by the consumer.

What types of foods MUST be made in a Commercial Kitchen?  
(Many of our vendors rent a commercial kitchen from someone and must provide the health department with that information.)
​The following foods are examples of food that can not be produced by a cottage food production operation.
Additionally some of these items will also need a Food Manufacturer's License.


  • Fresh or dried meat or meat products including jerky

  • Kolaches with meat

  • Fish or shellfish products

  • Raw seed sprouts

  • Bakery goods which require any type of refrigeration such as cream, custard or meringue pies and cakes or pastries with cream cheese icings or fillings.

  • Milk and dairy products including hard, soft and cottage cheeses and yogurt

  • Cut fresh fruits and/or vegetables

  • Juices made from fresh fruits or vegetables, that require refrigeration

  • Ice or ice products

  • Focaccia-style breads with vegetables or cheeses

  • Beverages that require refrigeration to prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria. (TCS Beverages)  

  • Meat or Poultry

  • Seafood

  • TCS Products 

What is a time and temperature controlled for safety food (TCS)?
A time and temperature control for safety (TCS) food requires time and temperature control for safety to limit pathogen growth or toxin production. In other words, a food must be held under proper temperature controls, such as refrigeration to prevent the growth of bacteria that may cause human illness. A TCS is a food that: contains protein, moisture (water activity greater than 0.85), and is neutral to slightly acidic (pH between 4.6 -7.5).

TCS Temperature Requirements for Cottage/Commercial Kitchen and Prepared On-Site Foods:
Potentially hazardous food (time/temperature control for safety food) sold, distributed, or prepared on-site at a farmers' market, and potentially hazardous food (time/temperature control for safety food) transported to or from a farmers' market shall meet the requirements of this section.
(1) Frozen food. Stored frozen foods shall be maintained frozen.
(2) Hot and cold holding. All potentially hazardous food sold at, prepared on site at, or transported to or from a farm or farmers' market at all times shall be maintained at:
(3) Cold Foods: 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) or below
(4) Hot Foods: 54 degrees Celsius (135 degrees Fahrenheit) or above.
(5) Cooking of raw animal foods. Raw animal foods shall be cooked to heat all parts of the food to the following temperatures:
      (a) poultry, ground poultry, stuffing with poultry, meat and fish to 74 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 seconds;          (b) ground meat, ground pork, ground fish, and injected meats to 68 degrees Celsius (155 degree Fahrenheit) for 15 seconds;)            (c) beef, pork, meat, fish and raw shell eggs for immediate service to 63 degrees Celsius (145 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 seconds;
     (d) prepackaged, potentially hazardous food (time/temperature control for safety food), that has been commercially processed, to 57 degree Celsius (135 degrees Fahrenheit)  


Farmers and food producers selling temperature-controlled foods, such as eggs or meats, or preparing food at the market, must obtain an annual FMV permit from HCPH.

Farmers that sell only whole uncut produce, local honey, or packaged non-perishable foods do not need a permit.

​Vendors that operate under a Farmers Market permit must meet the Farmers Market Requirements and follow the Temporary Food Establishment Operational Requirements.


Who Must License as a Food Manufacturer? 
Firms that manufacture food for sale to the public in the following manner are required to have a Food Manufacturer license with DSHS.
This includes any firm that engages in the following activities:

  • Processing and/or packaging any food product, including dietary supplements, ice, and water, for wholesale distribution or for sale via retail customer self-service.

  • Selling vended or bottled water or bagging ice.

  • Repackaging food products (eg. repacking candy into smaller or larger packages), for wholesale distribution or for sale via retail customer self-service.

  • Any Texas firm that places their name and address on a product label, even though another firm (co-packer) actually produces the product. This is called "private labeling." A private labeler is required to obtain a Food Manufacturer license.

  • Packaging food and displaying the packaged food for customer self-service. This includes all retail food service operations that package and display food in this manner.

Examples of Businesses Requiring Food Manufacturer Licenses Examples include but are not limited to the following food manufacturing operations:

  • Bakeries

  • Bottling/Canning plants producing sauces, salsa, condiments, jams, jellies, canned vegetables and fruit

  • Bottling/Canning plants producing water, soft drinks, fruit juice, vegetable juice

  • Dietary supplement manufacturing and distributing (see the Dietary Supplements page)

  • Grocery stores with meat markets, delicatessens, or bakeries that package and display food for retail customer self-service

  • Ice bagging or wholesaling

  • Ice plants

  • Juice packaging (see the Juice HACCP page)

  • Packaging cut produce/vegetables, shelling and packaging nuts, and firms washing/packaging produce in a separate location from the farm where it was grown

  • Restaurants and other food service operations providing food packaged on-site via a retail customer self-service display

  • Seafood processors (see the Seafood HACCP page)

  • Water vending/bottling (see the Bottled and Vended Water program)

  • Wineries

  • Breweries

To obtain a Food Manufacturer license application, go to the Applications/Forms page.

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