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Michigan Can you legally sell food from home in Michigan?

Cottage Food Law

Michigan enacted a cottage food law in 2010 (HB 5280), and then amended it once in 2012 (HB 5130) to increase the sales limit.

Many types of non-perishable foods are allowed, and producers can sell directly to consumers at most sales venues.

It is very easy to start a cottage food business, since no license or inspection from the ag department is needed.

However, sales are limited to $25,000 per year, and indirect sales (through retail stores, grocery stores, online, etc) are not allowed.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

Starting a cottage food business?

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Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

To check if a specific kind of product is allowed, contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development at 800-292-3939 or MDA-Info@michigan.gov

Maple syrup and honey is not covered under this law, but you can sell it through a separate exemption. To qualify, you need to sell less than $15,001 of maple syrup and honey each year, label your products properly (see Labeling section), and meet basic processing requirements. You can sell these products directly to consumers, as well as indirectly through retail and grocery stores.

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

Limitations How will your home food business be restricted?

Limitations
Sales are limited to $25,000 per year

Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?

Food safety training

Food safety training is not required, but the MSU Extension offers a 2-hour cottage food training course for free. Both in-person and online courses are available.

Private well testing

If your home uses a private well, you should get your water tested annually to make sure that it is potable.

Private sewer inspection

If you have a private septic system for you waste water, the health department recommends that you get it inspected before starting your business.

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Made in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development" (11-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, MI 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


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


If you sell maple syrup or honey, you must label those products with the same information that’s specified above, except the statement should read “Processed in a facility not inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development”.

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Contacts

Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

Email
MDA-Info@michigan.gov
Telephone
800-292-3939
Law Dates
July 2010
HB 5280
July 2010
HB 5837
October 2012
HB 5130

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Starting a cottage food business?

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Comments

I am considering starting a mobile cookie and coffee shop but am confused about the cottage law prohibiting selling coffee. If I obtain a Food Service License will I be able to sell coffee also?

    I’m not sure what exactly is required to sell coffee, but sometimes there are special laws for coffee and tea. You should check with the ag dept about how to best setup your business.

Hi, I see that the law states “Children are not allowed in the kitchen while you are making the products”. However, what if my 15 year old nephew would like to work with me? Thank you!

If fudge is allowed and caramels as well, can I make them with goat milk from my goats? I can pasteurize the milk but it also heats high enough for candy.
Thanks

I am not expecting any issues with this, but I was curious. If someone happens to get sick after eating some of my baked goods, prepared and labeled according to the Michigan Cottage Food Law, could they legally come back to me and blame me? Would a lawsuit hold up, if labeled correctly? Or would I be better off adding a disclaimer to the label?

    Adding a disclaimer to the label is already required (saying that it was made in a home kitchen). One of the nice things about cottage food is that the items are inherently safe. Go ahead and take a basic food handler course online, and as long as you keep your kitchen clean and sanitized and you follow best practices for food prep, it shouldn’t be a problem. I have NEVER heard of anyone have a health complaint against a CFO’s non-perishable food.

    But to answer your question, as long as you follow the law, you should technically be covered. But you can never be sure. Some people get insurance, to be safe. But from what I’ve seen, the fear of a lawsuit is a false one and is extremely unlikely.

Are we able to make a bread with cheese on the INSIDE not OUTSIDE? Not a Focaccia style bread either, just a white sandwich style bread

If a nut butter only contains the nut, raw honey & evoo then is it able to be sold? If it needs to be tested, where in Michigan can you get that done?

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