April 2013 Minnesota Cottage Food Law Update

Good morning my friends and Happy Friday to you!

We now have a combined total of 765 signatures. Every week we see a few more added. That is great since it means we are continuing to gain awareness and support for our cause.

I have heard from both Sen. Brown and Rep. Newberger. Sadly, if this bill gets introduced and passed this year it will be a miracle. They have both pledged to continue to do everything in their power for the remainder of this session to see it through, and to continue working on it in the coming year. It would be great if you would send them a note of thanks for what they have done. I know that they have really tried to help us with this.

So, what do we do next? I think it is important that we take this time to continue to get the word out to the public. There are still so many people who do not even realize that these laws exist.

I have written a letter that I pass out to people at bake and craft sales and at the Farmer’s Markets. It is one thing that we can all do and perhaps glean a little more public support. I will post it here and if you would like to copy it feel free, or print up one of your own. In the meanwhile, don’t lose heart and don’t give up! If 33 other states could get it done, so can we!

Below please find a copy of what I call my Farmer’s Market letter:

Did you know that selling things like wedding cakes and birthday cakes from our homes is not legal? Neither did I until I did some research to find out exactly what rules and regulations I would need to start a home based baking business.
I have since done more research on the subject. The first thing I came across was an article about Michigan. In 2009 the citizens of Michigan were having the same debate. They got together and started a petition. In July 2010 the HB 5837: Michigan Cottage Food Operation Bill was signed. This is just one state that has passed this law. There are now 33 states that have passed or modified this bill, enabling people to start their food business from their homes without high costs and with hopes of growing into something larger at a more cost effective rate.
In the 2011 Minnesota Statutes there were some revisions made which are found in 28A.15Exclusions, Subdivision 9 that state:
” Community event or farmers’ market. An individual who prepares and sells food that is not potentially hazardous food, as defined in rules adopted under section 31.11, at a community event or farmers’ market with gross receipts of $5,000 or less in a calendar year from the prepared food items. If the food is not prepared in a kitchen that is licensed or inspected, the seller must post a visible sign or placard stating that: “These products are homemade and not subject to state inspection.” Prepared foods sold under this subdivision must be labeled to accurately reflect the name and address of the person preparing and selling the foods.”
This is a good start but not the solution to our problem. We still need some amendments made to help Home Bakers to proceed as lucrative businesses and to sell directly from our homes.
We need a Cottage Food Law that allows us to: advertise to the public, post more information about the guidance for home food processing on the state Dept. of Agriculture website., and to take away the cap on how much money we are allowed to earn.
There has been a page started on Facebook. We also have two petitions going with a total of over 750 signatures. We would appreciate if you would sign our petition at: http://t.co/WpnK47XO
If you would like to read more about the Cottage Food Law I have written about it on my blog at: https://shelleyjeanerickson.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/minnesota-cottage-food-law-for-home-bakers/
Home Based Bakers of Minnesota

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2 Comments

  1. I would worry people do not have proper sanitation training…is that addressed in the bill. I don’t want to go to a wedding and get sick from cake. That’s 200+ people getting food poisoning. How is that addressed in the bill?

    • Your concern is understandable. The possibility of food poisoning is a chance we take every time we buy food from anywhere. According to reports made by the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 6 people get food poisoning in the United States each year. This is mostly due to items bought in grocery stores, such as spinach, peanuts, hot peppers, etc. and from restaurants serving shell fish, such as oysters, and under-cooked meat.
      The bill that was presented to the House on April 18th requires Minnesota home bakers to be inspected if someone gets sick and lodges a complaint. Everything sold will be labeled with all of the ingredients of the item and no potentially hazardous items are allowed to be sold, such as custards, whipped creams, and pretty much anything that requires refrigeration. These type of baked goods are already allowed to be sold in Farmer’s Markets, bake sales, and fund raisers.
      In most cases a customer is already going to be familiar with the home baker. They will know what kind of home they keep and how clean their kitchens are. The food a home baker makes is going to be fresher and more care will be taken in the making of the product for several reasons. The first reason is obviously that it’s not good for business if you get your customers sick. Secondly, home bakers bake because they love to bake. They love to see people enjoy their creations. This is not just a job in a factory or a deli for us. We take pride in what we do and we want to share it.

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