ESSB 5748

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 281 L 11

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Regarding cottage food operations.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Economic Development (originally sponsored by Senators Rockefeller, Honeyford and Chase).

Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Economic Development

House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources

House Committee on Health & Human Services Appropriations & Oversight

Background: In 2010 Michigan enacted a law allowing residents to make certain food products at home and to sell them. Previously, residents were required to make their foods in a commercial kitchen certified by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and to pay license fees. The Michigan law covers businesses that gross less than $15,000 annually. The foods that can be sold must be classified as non-potentially hazardous foods and the legislation contains a list of items that qualify and that do not qualify.

Washington State has similar requirements to those that existed in Michigan prior to the passage of the 2010 Michigan legislation. There is interest in Washington State to allow a similar program to allow cottage food operations to sell breads, baked goods, and other food directly to the ultimate consumer.

Summary: Cottage food is defined to include baked goods, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butters, and other non-potentially hazardous food identified by rule, that may be produced for sale in a person's home kitchen. Cottage foods may be sold only directly to the consumer and may not be sold through the Internet, mail order, or for retail sale outside the state. A permitted cottage food operation may have sales of up to $15,000 per year. This maximum annual sales limit may be increased by rule each biennium to reflect inflation.

To produce cottage foods, a person is required to obtain a permit from the Department of Agriculture (Department) and to allow inspection of the kitchen and areas of the home in which the cottage food is prepared or stored. Fees include a $30 permit fee, a $75 public health review fee, and a $125 basic hygiene inspection fee. An additional fee may be charged for additional compliance inspections.

The areas of the home used to prepare or store cottage food products are subject to inspection. The operator must sign a document that expressly grants authority to the Department the right to enter this portion of the residence during normal business hours or other reasonable times. If access is denied to this area, the Department is authorized to obtain a search warrant for the permitted area from court. Denial of access to the Department may be grounds for denial or suspension of a permit.

Labeling requirements are listed and must include the statement: "Made in a home kitchen that has not been subject to standard inspection criteria." Any person who works at a cottage food operation must have secured a food and beverage service worker's permit.

The Department may contract with local health jurisdictions to conduct the required inspections. Except as otherwise provided, cottage food operations with the required permits are not required to be licensed under the state Food Processors Act nor to be permitted or inspected by a local health jurisdiction. This act does not affect application of any other state or federal law, or any applicable local ordinance.

The Department may adopt by rule, requirements for cottage food operations pertaining to:

When conducting an annual inspection, the Department must inspect for the following:

Authority to enforce the provisions of this act is provided to the Department. Grounds for denial or suspension of a permit are listed. The Department may issue a civil fine of up to $1,000 per violation, and violations are punishable as a misdemeanor.

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


July 22, 2011.