For many years, Wisconsin allowed canned goods without allowing baked goods, unlike every other state. As of 2017, Wisconsin now has a ruling that allows homemade baked goods. This older law, also known as the “Pickle Bill”, is still in place for canned good sales.
This law is very restrictive. Producers can sell up to $5,000 per year of canned goods at farmers markets and other community events. They are allowed to make jams, jellies, pickled goods, sauces, and any other canned goods that are acidic enough to be safe. To sell baked goods, use this law.
There is no registration process to start selling, though the Department of Agriculture encourages sellers to test their product for safety and take some training to educate themselves on safe production practices.
Prior to 2017, it made no sense that Wisconsin would allow canned goods, which are relatively risky, and not allow baked goods, some of the least risky foods. This was likely due to the presence of some special interest groups, like the Wisconsin Bakers Association, who were concerned about competition from home bakers.
Since the opposition to homemade baked goods was 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.
This 2010 Pickle Bill was modeled after Minnesota’s former law, except that Minnesota’s law allowed baked goods. In 2013, Minnesota’s ag department was also sued, and as of 2015, the state now has a better law.
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.
You can sell baked goods from home by following this ruling.
You can sell homemade baked goods by following this ruling.
The $5,000 sales limit only applies to sales of your canned goods. You can sell an unlimited amount of homemade baked goods by following this ruling.
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.
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 12/3/2020
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.
- Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection
- (608) 224-5012
- For legal information
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture
- University of Wisconsin
- (608) 263-7383
- For information about safe home-canning practices
UW Food Safety & Health Extension
- February 2010
- AB 229