Yes, if the person is selling produce that they have grown on their own or rented land. A license would not be required, as indicated by:
Typical commercial food operators (retail) include restaurants, caterers, school foodservice, institutions, daycares, grocery stores, food markets, cooperatives, bakeries, convenience stores, temporary food stands, etc.
Yes, this is considered an approved source if the food is grown on the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by them. Growers are an approved source for processed food as long as no ingredients are added from off the farm and the food is not prepared or stored in a private home.
A food handler's license is required for foods that contain ingredients from off the farm (including salt). Processed foods can be cut, heated, canned, frozen, dried, mixed, coated, bottled, etc. A food handler's license is also required if foods are purchased for resale. Processing does not include sorting, trimming as part of the harvesting process or preliminary washing to remove extraneous soil and debris.
In addition, if a person buys produce from another grower for resale, that person may need to be licensed as a Minnesota Wholesale Produce Dealer. Further questions on this should be directed to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
No, even though a grower may not be required to have a food handler’s license, they are still regulated under various federal and state laws. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has chemical restriction requirements, such as what can be used, amounts, and how and when it can be applied. Additionally, state agencies regulate fertilizer and pesticide use, irrigation waters, application of manure or sludge, etc. Ultimately, all food must be kept safe from contamination whether the grower has a license or not. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Food and Feed Safety Division’s Food Inspection staff periodically spot check growers at roadside stands, “u-pick” farms, and farmers markets.
For questions or more information, please contact
Food and Feed Safety Division