Cottage Foods: Entrepreneurial Opportunity or Public Health Threat?

This e-case examines policy formulation for cottage foods where science, politics, and beliefs collide. Cottage food production typically refers to a group of easily produced foods like baked goods, jams, and pickles which carry relatively small public health risks. While some celebrate these new opportunities for work-at-home small businesses, others are concerned about potential threats to public health as cottage food production expands to other potentially higher risk products. Cottage foods represent a regulatory quagmire with no nationally agreed upon definitions. Regulation of cottage foods rests with the states since production and consumption does not typically cross state lines. This case examines the development of new cottage food legislation in Minnesota in the face of differing perspectives on its safety and place in the food system.
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