Just about everyone has a family recipe that they
believe would be a runaway success if marketed and sold. But, selling food
commercially has several potential pitfalls, which is why the University of
Minnesota Extension Office is conducting several workshops throughout the state
dealing with the cottage food industry.
In 2015, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law
allowing individuals to make cottage foods from their homes (baked goods,
pickles, canned fruit and vegetables, jams and jellies, candy, salsa, etc.) without
a vendors license, but they are required to take a Minnesota Department of
Agriculture-approved food safety training course to register as a Minnesota
Cottage Food Producer.
One such course will be offered Tuesday, Feb. 25 from
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River (15788 Kelley Farm Road
NW). The historic Kelley Farm is the closest location to Wright County where
the safety training program will be conducted this winter/spring.
The course, “Keep It Legal, Keep It Safe, Cottage Food
Producers,” is taught by Extension Educator Suzanne Driessen and focuses on
food safety practices covered under the Minnesota Cottage Food Law. Topics to
be discussed include drying, baking, confections, jams and jellies, acid and
acidified fruits/vegetables and fermentation.
Participants will learn how to produce, label, store
and transport a safe food product with food safety experts on hand to do the
instruction and answer questions. At the workshop, attendees can have their
products tested to determine if their product is an allowable non-potentially hazardous
food under the Minnesota Cottage Food Law.
Workshop attendance will help participants meet the Tier
2 (annual sales between $5,001 and $18,000 annually) training requirement of the
Minnesota Department of Agriculture to register as a cottage food producer.
Online courses are also available.
The cost of the workshop is $50. Those interested can
click on the following link to be directed to the registration website:
For information on how to become a cottage food
producer, click this link that will direct you to the Minnesota Department of
Agriculture to learn about registration requirements: