The Montana Local Food Choice Act (aka SB199), passed in April 2021, fundamentally changes the landscape of what can be made in a home kitchen and sold direct to consumers. Under the new law, raw milk, poultry, and numerous other processed and value-added food items, including catered meals, pickled and canned foods, and perishable baked goods, now can be offered for sale without licensing.
While the Local Food Choice Act increases the opportunities for Montana’s value-added producers, there is potential for increased liability, as the expanded list of allowable foods includes products with potential food safety risks if not made properly. In addition, aspects of the new law are nuanced and potentially complex, and there is limited opportunity for state agencies to provide regulatory guidance or oversight.
To bridge the knowledge gap, AERO and partner organizations are offering the following workshops throughout 2022 and 2023 to increase value-added producers’ understanding of current Montana legislation regarding food licensing, registration and inspection (including new changes under the Local Food Choice Act), so they can maximize the opportunity it presents, while minimizing production and legal liability.
All events will be offered free-of-charge.
Seven workshops across the state will present the changes under SB199 and outline best practices for risk management under the new law. Register for the workshop in your area by following the links below. More details will be available for the 2023 workshops in Bozeman, Hays, and Billings soon.
Learn more about other trainings and tools for value-added and cottage food producers HERE.
This project is funded by the Western Extension Risk Management Education Center (Western Center) and will be presented in partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Service Food and Consumer Safety Section, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center/Mission West Community Development Partners, Montana State University Extension Family & Consumer Sciences, and the Raw Milk Institute. This material is also based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2021-70027-34713.