Bonus Episode 206: Cottage Foods in Montana | NINA HEINZINGER, PhD, RS | Public Health Sanitarian | Helena, MT

Listen to the full episode at the

Cottage Food it’s really the idea for to help people start a business!!

A way to build their business. Especially in winter when they are maybe not as business. It’s Friday morning, October 20, 2017 and I am super excited because I reached out to Ed Evanston in 2015 after I was at the AERO expo, which is taking place this weekend in 2017 and looking to the data and his episode was listened to a lot of times and is in the top ten most downloaded shows so I asked him to come back and he said you shoud interview Nina because she does that now.

I do always like to kind of ask about your very first gardening experience. did you grow up in Montana?

We didn’t do a  lot of gardening. My first real gardening experience was when I was getting my masters at UC Davis and I decided we needed to do something with this polot of land and Davis is a great place to grow tomatoes so I fed everyone with those tomatoes that year, but this year I kind of put a bed of

I got involved with Montana masters gardeners. Been doing that the last 2 years. This year I’ve been really involved with our Helena community gardens now.

Today we are here to talk about cottage foods.

General info about cottage food laws about things throughout the United States… we did kind of a comparison against the laws throughout the United For small farmer community it’s really a way they can build their business….

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been working here with the food and consumer safety section for a year and a half now. Jumped right into cottage foods mostly becaue of my background. I have a 

  • Masters in Food Science
  • PHd in food micro biology. 

I’ve always been interested in food and what grows on food and m

training people about different topics we cover. 

Questions kept coming up about different cottage foods and people kept coming to me and asking

  • what do you know about this food?
  • do we have to worry about this new food?

I took over the program about a year ago

providing advice to sanitarians who review the process and giving advice on what is acceptable and what’s not

What is a cottage food?

  • basically a cottage food is going to be a food that is NOT requiring refrigeration or temperature control.

something you  can leave on your counter for days and not worry about getting sick from.

We have a variety of products that are included.

Do you want to go through some of those?

some ideas

what we are seeing in terms of people and what we are seeing

As of last week we had

  • a 153 different registrations
  • over a 1000 products are registered

popular area

  • breads
  • cakes
  • pasteries
  • pies

A lot of home bakers out there selling their goods in terms of cottage foods!

It will also include besides those items

  • nuts
  • nut mixes
  • snack mixes
  • jams
  • jellies

don’t allow they require further processing to make sure they are safe

  • dry spice and tea mixes

We are seeing individuals making teas

  • popcorn balls
  • cotton candy
  • fudge and other candies that require cook step

Something that can be left on counter and not require refridgeration

  • honey

several registered individuals that are processing honey and adding flavors.

Raw honey you don’t need a cottage food license to sell


listed in our information that

another product that you are considering then you need to work with your local sanitarian to see if we can approve that product.

We are seeing lots of cookies and cakes and baked goods. I wish I could take them.

What about eggs?

Eggs are not covered under cottage food laws they are actually covered through Department of Live Stock. There are regulations that allow you to sell them.

farmer’s markets

food is a complicated subject

certain items are covered under food of consumer safety

Department of livestock

farmer’s markets

  • you can sell eggs
  • rule there
  • in terms of eggs
  • wholes sale eggs full of cracks and stored at 45º or less, don’t need a cottage food license..
  • cottage foods allow you to take those things you sell at the farmer’s market you want to sell at other venues like craft fairs

Out of your home

  • as long as your selling it directly to the consumer
  • don’t necessarily
  • dropping it off at their home or meeting people
  • expands your ability
  • with the cottage food

your getting licesnsed/registered one time registration for your own home kitchen

allows you to bake foods at your home

purchase the foods from you

allows you to step into business without making the investment to prepare at

  • that’s what we’ve found
  • started to do some education
  • over the summer at the farmer’s markets that the cottage food law exists
  • what they could do with their products…

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