Cases Reviewed

The Food Innovation Team (FIT) reviewed 8 cases brought forth by Food Business Owners (FBOs). Members of the FIT assisted these FBOs with navigating Minnesota's food licensing and regulatory environment, answered their questions, and created a path forward for their licensing needs.  After each case was reviewed a Recommendation Report was created to clearly identify options the FBO may take. 


Recommendation Reports

Combined PDF file with all reports

Table of cases reviewed:

Type of Facility 

Date of Review 

Brief Summary 

Resolution 

Facility Name 

Keywords 

Building on farm property houses a farm store. A restaurant and commercial kitchen are located in the same space. Food is prepared in the kitchen for the restaurant and for sale in the farm store. 

11/13/2018 

There is confusion about selling cottage foods in the retail store on the farm property. Additionally, there is confusion about the Better Process Control School requirement for making pickles for use in the restaurant when cottage food pickles could be made in a home kitchen. Owner also wanted to know if cottage foods could be made in the commercial kitchen and if they would have to be sold outside of the store/restaurant building. 

Cottage foods can be made in the commercial kitchen but must be clearly separate from other products by labeling and by physical separation. Sale of cottage food cannot take place within the license retail store space. Labeling, internet ordering, and dedicated shelf space are not enough separation when the cottage food operator is also the owner of the licensed retail space. Cottage food items could be on display within a dedicated area of the licensed retail space, but the owner must exit the retail space in order to complete a sale of cottage food items to a customer. 

Jubilee Markets and Peacemeals 

Cottage foods, cottage food producer, cottage food sales, home, farm, farm store, retail store front, license, retail food handler 

Cottage food producer working from hotel room as “home”. 

1/15/2019 

Case operates a hotel and lives onsite. She wants to be a cottage food producer and sell to guests and the general public. 

Sales can take place over the internet or in the home – her home is her private residence in the hotel. The notice that the product is homemade and not subject to state inspection must be given at the point of sale. She must directly deliver the product to the consumer. 

America Stay Inn 

Cottage foods, cottage food producer, cottage food sales, hotel, lodging, home, address 

Beef processed at an equal-to inspected plant but concerns about disposition of carcasses and organs. 

5/21/2019 

Case raises organic, grass-fed beef which is then processed at an Equal-To plant. Sales are through the on-farm store and deliveries. Farmer is concerned about the disposition of carcasses and organs of beef being processed and the reporting of disposal of condemned carcasses and organs. 

Farmers who want their own organ meats back must be proactive with the processing plant. Farmer must request that the processor keep organ meats with the carcass and that they want their own organ meats back. The farmer can contact the facility inspector directly. Farmers who want an answer for their own information about reasons for condemned organs need to plan to attend the slaughter of their animals. 

Prairie Horizons, LLC 

Equal-to, organ meats, slaughter, condemnation, organic, grass-fed, product disposition 

Owner selling products from a retail food vehicle at farmers markets and other venues. 

7/16/2019 

Owner is concerned about consistency of licensing or correct licensing of vendors who sell at farmers markets and other venues.  

The Retail Food Vehicle Portable Structure or Cart license is not tied to physical location or structure in the same way as other licenses; rather, it is tied to the transactions made with delivery equipment that meets the standards of the license. The license allows for sales at multiple locations, unless the sales are happening at more than one location simultaneously. In the case of simultaneous sales at multiple locations, additional licenses would be needed. The license does not limit annual days of operation. Cross-border sales by non-Minnesota food handlers are subject to Minnesota law when selling within our state. 

Farm on Wheels 

Retail food vehicle portable structure or cart, license, sale location, cross-border sale, farmers market 

Farm selling eggs direct to consumer and wholesale and selling meat chickens and pork direct to consumer. 

9/16/2019 

Farm wants to have a retail store front on the farm. In order to have a retail store front, they would need an approved water supply. The owner had not received a status on the well review.  

A well inspection can take time (typically a few months) and involves input from MDH. MDA will verify the well review letter is sent to the owner and will follow up with information on other options, such as a retail food vehicle portable structure or cart license. The owner may also want to contact a well contractor if there are issues with the well and a retail store front is still desired. 

Graise Farms, LLC 

Farm, farm store, retail store front, well, well inspection, retail food vehicle, license 

Individual looking to transfer Retail Food Handler and Retail Mobile licenses to her name and become a Cottage Food Producer. 

9/16/2019 

The current Retail Food Handler and Retail Mobile licenses are held under the owner’s late mother’s name. The owner would like to transfer the licenses to her name and register as a cottage food producer. The owner needs clarification on the types of products she plans to sell, where she will manufacture and store the products, and where she will sell products. 

The business owner will need a Wholesale Manufacturer license to cover sales of products on Etsy and pop-up boutiques. She can register as a cottage food producer to sell pickled vegetables and salsa at farmers markets and community events; these products can be made in her home. MDA emphasized the importance of keeping cottage food production and sales separate from her manufactured products.  

Country Bumpkin Crafts 

Cottage food producer, cottage foods, cottage food sale, retail mobile, retail food handler, wholesale manufacturer, pop-up, boutique, online store, farmers market, community event, license 

Retail Mobile Food Handler selling products of the farm and pork items with off-farm ingredients added from a mobile trailer.  

11/12/19 

The owner sells from a mobile trailer but is also storing meat in an outbuilding on the property. This outbuilding would require a second license for storage of the pork products with off-farm ingredients. 

Three options were outlined. First, the owner may stop use of the outbuilding for storage. Second, the owner could use the outbuilding for storage of products of the farm only (no products containing off-farm ingredients). Finally, the owner may apply for wholesale license for the outbuilding so it could be used for storage of all food products sold on the mobile trailer.   

Willow Sedge Farm 

Products of the farm or garden, farm store, storage, outbuilding, storage building, mobile trailer, off-farm ingredients, license 

Currently out of business. Prior to going out of business, the FBO carried a Wholesale Food Processor/Manufacture license and used the local commercial-grade kitchen, to make single-serving meals sealed in microwaveable containers and sold to the local grocery store. 

 

5/19/2020 

Product containing meat was removed from grocery store shelves. The FBO and the community did not understand the reasons for this. Important to note that the system worked in this case to catch product that shouldn’t have been on grocery shelves. This scenario highlights need for additional communication and education.  

 

 

Multiple areas of opportunity were identified regarding providing more education and outreach, particularly on how licensing can change based on product. Specific options available to FBO would include the option to pursue vegetarian menu (no meat items) or takeout meals (including meat) could be sold directly to consumer as a retail, rather than wholesale. 

 

Kaw Khang 

Wholesale food processor, commercial-grade kitchen, community kitchen, products containing meat, outreach, education