Wi Cottage Food Laws
Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution provides that “all men are born equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights; This includes life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. This protects Wisconsines` due process rights, including the right to earn an elected living without arbitrary, unreasonable, or oppressive government interference. Banning homemade food violates this right because there is no real safety reason to impose a cumbersome licensing system and force ordinary people to spend tens of thousands of dollars to gain access to a commercial kitchen before, say, selling a crunchy rice treat. Shelf-stable foods are, by definition, perfectly safe, and Wisconsin`s onerous regulations prohibiting their sale have no rational connection to safety. Some people might be surprised to learn that there is currently no legislation governing the preparation and sale of homemade baked goods in Wisconsin. While the Pickle bill clearly defines the terms and limits of canned food sales in Wisconsin, the Cooke bill has been in flux since 2017. While the cookie bill is not yet law, it will include more guidance for making and selling baked goods in Wisconsin. If reviewed by the convention and signed by the governor, Wisconsin residents can expect to learn more about baked goods regulations. If you`re still wondering, “Do I need a cottage food license?” it`s best to contact your local health department.
For example, foods filled with cream, custard or meat are potentially dangerous and certainly not allowed. Traditional buttercream icing with cream, which must be cooled, would also not be allowed. For example, some baked goods containing vegetables like zucchini bread or banana bread may not be considered safe because they are too wet. The Farmstead Bakery: Recipes and Resources project includes a growing list of such recipes that are tested and safe to use. Article 1 (1) also protects the same Wisconsines intellectual property rights, including the right of similarly situated persons to be treated equally. Those who want to sell safe, shelf-stable foods are similar to those who already sell popcorn, honey, maple syrup, sorghum, cider, canned foods, eggs or homemade baked goods. In fact, banned storable products are just as safe – if not safer – than exempted foods. If a commercial licence and a commercial kitchen are not required to sell these products, they should not be required to sell safe, shelf-stable foods. Wisconsin allows the sale of other homemade products Wisconsin exempts certain selected foods from its ban. Nevertheless, shelf-stable prohibited foods are just as safe – or safer – than exempted foods.
Stacy`s customers often ask for homemade, uncooked, non-perishable desserts — like chocolates or fudges — but Stacy has to refuse. Wisconsin will not allow him to sell this food. All of this adds up to the opportunity for you to become a food entrepreneur today, right from your kitchen at home. With this, you will immediately become an independent entrepreneur and have the freedom and control to start and manage your business, from defining a name, expense management and accounting, marketing, using food safety practices, etc. Treat yourself like the professional you are now and run your business professionally and profitably! Stacy Beduhn Stacy lives with her son in Outagamie County. Stacy ran a small daycare, but she had to close it because of the pandemic. Stacy started her own family bakery, “Sweet Creations by Stacy,” shortly after winning the first lawsuit in 2017. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has focused full-time on this topic, with customers picking up their cake orders from Stacy`s porch. The transaction was to take place in Wisconsin. The buyer does not need to be a Wisconsin resident, but the product must only be sold in the state. Mail order is allowed, but again only in the state of Wisconsin.
While there is certainly a potential legal argument in favor of interstate selling artisanal food after further examination by the Institute of Justice, this is a gray area that needs to be clarified and sellers should sell interstate at their peril.