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New law eases food regulation at farmers markets

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A new state law allows producers of certain home-prepared food who register with their local health department to sell products at farmers markets without paying inspection fees.

The Evanston Health Department has information about the program available on its website.

The new law for "Cottage Food Vendors" only applies to producers who have gross receipts of no more than $25,000 a year.

It requires them to complete a food manager certification training program and comply with food labeling requirements.

Food products that will be allowed for sale under the law include:

  • Certain fruit-based jams, jellies and preserves.
  • Fruit butters.
  • Baked goods including breads, cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries.
  • Dried foods including herbs and teas)

Larger sellers and the foods they produce are not covered by the new law and are still required to comply with existing regulations and obtain proper permits.

For more information, call the Evanston Health Department at 847-866-2949.

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