The Michigan Cottage Food Law, signed by former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm last July, is now taking effect and will likely become a model for legislation in other economically distressed states.
Michigan’s Food Law of 2000 was amended to define a cottage food seller as “a person who produces or packages non-potentially hazardous food in a kitchen of that person’s primary domestic residence.”
Sale of allowable foods by a cottage food operation are limited to homes, farm markets, or roadside stands; municipal farmers markets; county fairs; and town celebrations, festivals, and events. The operations are exempt from licensing and inspection by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
But the new law requires a cottage food operation to label any food it produces or packages with a statement that substantially states the following: “Made in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.”
Home kitchen operations cannot produce potentially hazardous foods, and thus are limited to foods that do not require time and temperature controls. Examples of food items that might be produced in home kitchens are baked goods, jams, jellies, popcorn, candy, cereal, granola dry mixes, vinegar and dried herbs.
Prohibited from home kitchen productions are meat and fish, raw seed sprouts, canned fruits or vegetables like salsa or canned peaches, canned pickled products and pies that require refrigeration.
Also banned are milk and dairy products, cut melons, beverages and ice, cut tomatoes or cut leafy greens, cooked vegetable products, and condiments like ketchup and mustard.
Pet food is also excluded from the cottage food list and sales to local retail stores and restaurants are not permitted.
Any cottage food operation with gross sales of more than $15,000 a year must submit to regular licensing and inspection.
More information on the Michigan Cottage Food Law is available in this Q&A from the state’s Department of Agriculture.