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Minnesota Farmers' Market Association 

Minnesota Cottage Foods Academy

The MN Cottage Foods Law (Minnesota Statute 28A.152) was first passed in 2015, allowing for "non-potentially hazardous foods" (baked foods; certain pickled or canned foods; jams, jellies, etc.) to be made in your home kitchen without a license, as long as the cottage food producer (CFP) successfully completes the mandated food safety training and registers with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The CFL has been amended a few times since 2015, the latest in 2023. The following information is current as of the July 1, 2023 law changes.


Free zoominars

Cottage Foods Tier 1 Training, Test, Application

This 2-hour training is offered monthly year-round. It covers the legal requirements; food safety issues; completing the required MDA training, test, and submitting your application.

MFMA's Tier 1 Cottage Foods Training Slides.

Click here to find a zoominar & register.

Taught by University of Minnesota Food

 Safety Extension Educator, Amy Johnston

  1. What is foodborne illness? (video)
  2. Factors that influence pathogen growth.  (video)
  3. Cleaning & sanitation best practices, Mar 11, 530-630pm
  4. Getting prepared to preserve: supplies & utensils you need
    1. Apr 15, 12-1pm
    2. Apr 18, 530-630pm
  5. Preserves: jams, jellies, spreads
    1. May 14, 12-1pm
    2. May 17, 530-630pm
  6. Safely pickling produce
    1. Jun 5, 12-1pm
    2. Jun 6, 530-630pm
  7. Canning acidic foods: boiling water or atmospheric steam canning
    1. Jul 16, 12-1pm
    2. Jul 19, 530-630pm
  8. Making & selling juice
    1. Aug 12, 12-1pm
    2. Aug 15, 530-630pm
  9. Canning low-acid foods: pressure canning
    1. Sep 10, 12-1pm
    2. Sep 13, 530-630pm
  10. Drying, dehydrating, freeze-drying produce
    1. Oct 14, 12-1pm
    2. Oct 17, 530-630pm
  11. Cottage foods: selling high-moisture foods
    1. Nov 12, 12-1pm
    2. Nov 15, 530-630pm
  12. Safe food temperatures: don't get your holiday guests sick
    1. Dec 9, 12-1pm
    2. Dec 12, 530-630pm


Resources for cottage food producers


  • Cake Cost appEasy to use online recipe costing calculator for home bakers and cake decorators. Free version.
  • Sales Tax on Certain Foods

      Sales tax on foods in Minnesota is complicated. For example, jams & jellies sold at grocery stores are not taxed BUT jams & jellies sold at a farmers' market are taxed; salsa is taxed but spaghetti sauce is not taxed. Key to note is that MDOR defines food terms differently than either MDA or MDH. 

      • FS102D.pdf Defines terms, lists example prepared foods and if they are taxed.


    Minnesota Cottage Foods Producers Association

    MN Cottage Food Law - Facebook

    MN Registered Cottage Foods Producers Group - Facebook

    Register with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

    Go here to register with the MDA. This is the same link you use to renew your cottage foods producers registration every year.

    By law, your CFP registration is valid in 30 days or less if submitted correctly to MDA.

    Your certificate will be mailed; you can also look for your registration on MDA's 'license lookup' webpage.


    Testing Your Foods

    The cottage foods law, M.S. 28A.152, requires that you sell cottage foods that meet two parameters of 4.6 or below for pH; or .85 or below for water activity. When you use the 'tested & approved' recipes mentioned in our Master Non-Potentially Hazardous Foods Guidance List, you do not need to test your cottage foods for either pH or water activity. 

    But if you're experimenting with recipes or want to attempt any of the recipes in the "Exceptions" column in the guidance list, here are some options for you to learn how to test for both pH and water activity. Click either topic below for suggestions on the testing meters that work adequately, as well videos and step-by-step instructions on how to use the meters and record your results. 

    Testing cottage foods for pH


    Testing cottage foods for Aw

    MFMA provides services, programs, and leadership that support and promote farmers' markets

    across Minnesota and our Tribal Nations.

    We envision a community of vibrant, profitable, and professionally managed Minnesota farmers’ markets that:

    Cultivates, nourishes, and inspires a vibrant local foods community;

    provides accessibility to all to local farm fresh foods;

    allows local food producers to thrive and grow.

    Engagement & Inclusion Director: Sina War /// /// (612) 695-6587 

    Local Foodshed Database Manager: Maeve Mallozzi-Kelly /// /// (574) 310-5553

    Executive Director: Kathy Zeman /// /// (507) 664-9446 

    Minnesota Farmers' Market Association /// 9800 155th Street East, Nerstrand MN 55053 /// 


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