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cottage food community


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 tried passing an amendment (AB 182) in 2014, which would have increased the sales limit and allowed baked goods, but it did not pass.


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

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 11/29/2015


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.



Wisconsin Department of Agriculture

Trade & Consumer Protection, Division of Food Safety
2811 Agriculture Drive
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708-8911
Law Dates
February 2010
AB 229
This page was last updated on


Hello David. Do you know where we stand with this bill? Is is dead? Is it just a matter of time before it’s passed? Does anyone have any sense of what’s going to happen with it?

    AB 182 (2014) is dead. AB 229 (2010) passed and is the only type of cottage food law in Wisconsin, allowing some homemade canned goods. I have not heard of any efforts to improve the law or reintroduce AB 182.

Hello I would like to know if i rented a commercial kithcen to cook baked goods could i then take them home, package them, and sell them? If so, who and where could i sell it to? And would i need a business license? Thanks so much : ) From Wisconsin

    No — you need to do all of the prep and packaging in the commercial kitchen before selling. You would need a business license, as well as other licenses from the health dept.

I’m wanting to sell homemade coffee syrups & homemade extracts (vanilla to begin with) at my craft tables at community events & farmers markets. Is this allowed under this bill? Thanks!

I am wondering if I were to make Gifts in a Jar to sell at our Thrift Shoppe that our business owns do we need to have a commercial kitchen?

What are the regulations for selling baked goods, like muffins and sweet breads out of my wisconsin home. Do I need a seperate kitchen or what. Thanks

I would like to sell dry oatmeal mixes packaged by me. Even though it’s a “non-potentially hazardous food” due to the low moisture content, I think this would fall under the saws that say I would need to start a commercial retail business, same as for the looseleaf tea question you previously answered?

If I followed the above required channel, is bulk selling allowed, ex; one large bin and customers tell me how much they want and I weigh and package it onsite. I’m assuming this would require a bug screen tent or other enclosed area I would operate in then hand the packaged food out?

Cottage cheese; looks like a licensed facility is required. Once packaged, can it be stored in my home? Even just to pickup the night before market and store at home overnight?

At what point is tax reporting required? It looks like the limit is $5,000 anually…. is this profit, after cost of operating is subtracted? ex; $8,000 total sales minus $3000 costs equals $5,000 allowed profit.

Thanks for your help.

    If you start a commercial business, there are few limitations and you should be able to find a way to run the business as you described.

    A commercial business should not be storing food in their home; however, I have heard that this is a common practice among food startups.

    You have to report annual taxes no matter how much money you make. The $5k limit is gross sales, not profit.

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