New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Food Program

Home-Based Food Processor


The New Mexico Food Service and Food Processing Regulations, NMAC, allows for the preparation in residential kitchens of “non-potentially hazardous” foods intended for public consumption.

Individuals wanting to operate a home-based food processing operation must first obtain a permit from NMED before offering their non-potentially hazardous food products to the public.

The type of foods that are allowed will be high sugar containing jam/jellies, non-cream filled baked goods (yeast and quick breads, cookies, cakes, fruit pies, etc.), tortillas, candy/fudge, and dry mixes (made with commercially processed ingredients). Home-based food products can only be sold or offered free of charge directly to the consumer at locations such as farmers markets, road side stands, and fiestas in locations under NMED’s jurisdiction.

Submit your completed application (Application for Permit to Operate and Home-Based Food Processing Plan Review Application) to the nearest NMED Field Office. The applications and “Guidance For Home-Based Food Processing Operations” can be downloaded below:

  1. Application for Permit to Operate
  2. Home-Based Food Processing Plan Review Application
  3. Guidance for Home-Based Food Processing Operations

Those interested individuals can contact either Johnathan Gerhardt, the NMED Deputy Food Program Manager, at (505) 222-9515, or their local NMED field office for more information.

In 2012, the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) issued a guidance document  to address national questions about home-based, or “cottage” food businesses. Although NMED is not bound by this new guidance document, it is particularly helpful in addressing these frequently asked questions. Be sure to substitute “home-based” for “cottage” when reading this document:

       4. Regulatory Guidance for Best Practices, Cottage Foods (ADFO, April 2012)

NOTE: Residents of the City of Albuquerque are not eligible to receive a permit for a home-based food processing operation permit.  The city is outside of NMED’s jurisdiction, and similar regulations have not been adopted by the City of Albuquerque. Residents of unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County may be able to obtain a permit for a similar program from the county Health Protection Team. 

If  you would like to verify the jurisdiction of your home address, please visit the map on the Bernalillo County Environmental Health Guide page or contact their Health Protection Team at 505-314-0310.  If you have further questions concerning home-based food processing please contact us.