New cottage food law goes into effect - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

New cottage food law goes into effect

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A cottage food law goes into effect statewide on October 1 which could mean an increase in jobs all over Montana.

“There were cake decorators, jam makers, there were people that wanted to market granola, popcorn or honey,” said Rep. Kathleen Williams (D-Montana), referring to the groups of people who pushed this cottage food law into legislation.

After over four years, the new cottage food laws will finally go into effect. This will allow for people to sell low-risk food items to consumers straight from their kitchen.

“The intent is that this is a small cottage industry. This is not for food producers or anything, this is for people making small amounts of product out of their own kitchen,” said Tim Roark, environmental health director of Gallatin County-City Health department.

People are allowed to advertise online, but must only sell face to face. Low risk food items available for sale include breads, cakes, jams, dried fruits, and nuts.

The cottage food law also gives local farmers the ability to sell some of their food on their own.

“When California passed theirs they created a thousand jobs out of it so it’s just really pro-business, pro-producers, and pro-nutrition,” said Williams.

In order to sell food you make from home, however, you must first register at the county health department and also have a label on your products.

“Who created the product, ingredients, the amount of ingredients, and there is a conspicuous label that this was created in a non- inspected facility,” said Roark.

These cottage food laws will hopefully start to expand business opportunities in Montana.

"I think it will diversify the type of food products that are available to consumers. It will allow people to work from home that didn't have that opportunity before this law went into effect,” commented Williams.

Click here for more information on Montana's cottage food laws

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