July 13, 2010
LANSING – Governor Jennifer Granholm Monday (July 12th) signed legislation that promotes Michigan agriculture by encouraging the production and sale of certain foods made by Michigan residents in their home kitchens.
These foods, called cottage food products, don’t require temperature control for safety and include jams, jellies, granola, dried fruit and herbs, cereal, dry mixes, candy and baked goods. The production or packaging of cottage food products by someone in their home kitchen is defined by the legislation as a cottage food operation.
Regulatory barriers in the state’s food production and distribution laws presently discourage many farmers from organizing cottage food operations. The legislation signed by the governor today removes these barriers by exempting cottage food operations from the licensing and inspection provisions of the Food Law of 2000 if they have annual gross sales of $15,000 or less. To ensure food safety, cottage food operations would still be subject to enforcement actions by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
Cottage food products would have to be pre-packaged and properly labeled prior to sale. Certain information is required to be on the product label, including ingredients, allergen information as required by federal law, and the name and address of the cottage food operation.
The legislation also specifies that cottage food products can be sold only directly from the cottage food operation to the consumer. Internet and mail order sales are prohibited, as are sales by consignment or at wholesale.
The bills signed by the governor Monday are House Bill 5837, sponsored by State Representative Pam Byrnes (D-Chelsea), and House Bill 5280, sponsored by State Representative John Proos (R-St. Joseph).