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Minnesota Can you legally sell food from home in Minnesota?

Cottage Food Law

Minnesota used to have one of the most restrictive cottage food laws in the nation. In 2015, they passed a new law (SF 5) which greatly improved their law, and then they further improved it in 2021 by passing an amendment (SF 958).

Cottage food producers can sell almost any type of nonperishable food, but they can only sell from home, at farmers markets, and at community events.

Minnesota has a two-tier system in place, depending on how much a producer sells each year. If a producer sells $5,000 or less, they can take a simple, free training course. If a producer sells up to $78,000 of products per year, they must take a $50 cottage food training course.

The Minnesota Cottage Food Producer’s Association, started by Shelley Erickson, was the first association organized for cottage food producers in a state.

In 2013, a couple Minnesota bakers aligned with the Institute of Justice to bring a lawsuit to the MN Department of Agriculture, which aimed to prove that the ag department has no right to limit homemade food sales. It was the first time a lawsuit had been created to improve a cottage food law. The case was eventually closed once an improved cottage food law was passed in 2015.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

“Events” only refers to community events: you cannot sell your products at other types of events.

When you are selling at farmers markets & community events, you must display a placard that says “These products are homemade and not subject to state inspection”. If you sell your products online, you must include this statement on your website.

All deliveries must be delivered by you personally (for instance, a family member could not deliver a product for you).

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Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

All canned goods & drinks must be non-potentially hazardous. If you are not sure if one of your products is potentially hazardous, you should contact the ag department for more information.

You can sell pet treats, as long as they are non-perishable baked or dehydrated goods.

Read these extremely comprehensive guides for more info about allowed & prohibited cottage foods and pet treats.

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 $78,000 per year
To sell up to $78,000 per year, you must pay $50 for your registration.
Sales are limited to $5,000 per year
If you do not make more than $5,000 per year, you can register for free. Starting in 2022, the $5,000 limit will be annually increased to keep up with inflation.

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

Food Safety Training

You must take a food safety training course before registering, but the type of training depends of which tier you fall under.

If you fall under Tier 1 ($5,000 of annual sales or less), you must take the Cottage Food Producer Registration Training. It is free and simply involves reading through the training document.

If you fall under Tier 2 (up to $78,000 of annual sales), you must take the Cottage Food Producer Training Course, which costs $50 and must be renewed every 3 years.

Cottage Foods Producer Registration

Once you complete your food safety training, you must register with the ag department, before you can sell your food products.

The registration process is very easy and can be completed online within a few minutes.

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"These products are homemade and not subject to state inspection"


Forrager Cookie Company

Permit #: 12345


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 10/24/2021


If you’d like, you can put your home address instead of your registration number on your labels.

When you are selling at farmers markets & community events, you must display a placard that says “These products are homemade and not subject to state inspection”. If you sell your products online, you must include this statement on your website.

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Department
Department of Agriculture
Contacts
Department
Department of Agriculture
Email
MDA.CottageFood@state.mn.us
Telephone
651-201-6081
Organization
Food & Feed Safety
Department
Department of Agriculture
Email
MDA.Licensing@state.mn.us
Telephone
651-201-6062
Law Dates
May 2002
SF 3256
August 2004
SF 2428
July 2015
SF 5
August 2021
SF 958

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Starting a cottage food business?

TAKE THE FREE MINI COURSE

How To Start A Cottage Food Business

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