But as more people become interested in buying local food, a few states have created exemptions for amateur chefs who sell homemade goods at farmers markets and on small farms.
The exemptions have touched off a debate about how to balance the need for food safety with a dose of regulatory common sense.
Supporters say they recognize food safety regulations designed for big commercial food handlers can be a burden for small-time cooks who just want to make a few extra bucks selling canned goods or other specialty products.
Opponents say that without regulation, the public is at risk for food-borne illnesses.
Photo by AP.