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Wisconsin is different from every other state in that they allow homemade canned goods, but they don’t allow homemade baked goods. Also known as the “Pickle Bill”, this law was modeled after their neighboring state’s law, except that Minnesota’s law does allow baked goods as well as canned.

Wisconsin’s pickle bill is the most restrictive cottage food law in the United States. Aside from the food limitations, producers can only have up to $5,000 of sales per year, and they may only sell at farmers markets and other community events. All sales must be made in-person and go directly from the producer to the consumer. Home producers are allowed to make jams, jellies, pickled goods, sauces, and any other canned goods that are acidic enough to be safe (needs a pH under 4.6).

However, there is no registration process or cost necessary to start selling. The law exempts producers from needing to get a license, though the Department of Agriculture encourages sellers to test their product for safety and take some training to educate themselves on safe production practices.

Wisconsin introduced bills in 2014 (AB 182) and 2016 (SB 330), which attempted to allow direct sales of some baked goods, but they did not pass.

It’s strange that Wisconsin allows something relatively risky (canned goods) without allowing the least risky foods (baked goods). This is likely due to the presence of some special interest groups, like the Wisconsin Bakers Association. Since the opposition to homemade baked goods is merely political, three women partnered with the Institute of Justice in January 2016 to form a lawsuit challenging the ban on home-baked goods. One of the women, Lisa Kivirist, is the author of Homemade for Sale.


A sign must be displayed at the place of sale that says “These canned goods are homemade and not subject to state inspection.”

“Events” refers to “community or social events”. You cannot deliver to a private event, like a wedding.

Allowed Foods

All products need to have a pH level of 4.6 or below. The Department of Agriculture recommends the use of a pH meter or lab testing.

Only "non-potentially hazardous" foods are allowed, but certain non-PHFs may not be allowed. Most foods that don't need to be refrigerated (foods without meat, cheese, etc.) are considered non-potentially hazardous. Learn more


Sales are limited to $5,000 per year


Although no training is required, sellers are encouraged to educate themselves about safe canning practices. More information can be found in the “Training” section of the Ag Department’s home canned foods page.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product was made in a private home not subject to state licensing or inspection"

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, WI 73531

Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)

Contains: milk, eggs, wheat, soy

Produced on 10/26/2016


Although there are no official workplace requirements, the Department of Agriculture encourages sellers to maintain safe sanitation practices in their kitchen and keep records of the products they produce.  More information can be found in the “Record-keeping” and “Sanitation” sections of the Ag Department’s home canned foods page.


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I have sold my coffee drinks and pastries from a home baker at flea markets in the past a couple times with success. I have been asked to do it this holiday season at a retail outlet. What are my options for doing this legally? We are very small and will only be doing this seasonally.

Then how are the Amish able to sell their breads, pies, cookies, etc at farmers markets and othrr events? I cant see them having a commercial kitchen.

    I don’t know of any law that would allow them to sell homemade baked goods. I’d say it’s likely that they are selling illegally (a very common thing across the states), but perhaps they are using a commercial kitchen.

Hi there, if I am looking to make homemade cotton candy mix (flavor extract added to granulated sugar), where does that fall on the legal scale? I feel like it isn’t baked goods..? It can’t go bad? If it matters, I would be premixing these to then be hired by parties to make cotton candy at the event.

Hi David, I live in Wisconsin. Could you tell me if you can sell homemade pickles at event venues that were made in my kitchen at home? Thank you.

What about if I wanted to sell home made Bloody Mary mix, non alcoholic fruit shrubs, & herbal simple syrups? I think I could can all of these home made products.

We are thinking about smoking fish for selling. We are currently doing the smoking outside with wood chips and charcoal. Does this need to be done in a commercial kitchen? We are concerned that the flavor may be altered. Thank you!

I’m looking into making vanilla extract to sell at the family’s roadside market. I would be using a commercial kitchen to prepare the extracts. Seeing how it is made of alcohol, would this be legal in Wisconsin? Could you forward me any resources on what needs to labeled, etc? Most of what I am seeing is mostly dealing with extracts being made at home v. in a commercial kitchen. Thanks!

    This site is focused on laws for selling homemade food. The commercial food laws are often quite complex, and you should contact your health dept directly about your business.

Thank you so much for all the information on your site!! It has been extremely helpful! I have a question about the Wisconsin food prep laws-I would like to start a prepared meal delivery service and I was wondering what are the laws regarding that? I am looking to start on more of a part time basis to see if there is a need or market in my area~ so I was hoping to do it out of my house at first then if it takes off then I’d get a commercial spot but until then what are my options? Thank you again~ I am SO SO grateful I found this site!!

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