Regulations and Food Safety
"Is this legal?" That's a question often asked about local food sales. Check the fact sheets below and then talk to your local inspector about your specific plans.
Local food inspectors are ready to help you. We encourage you to connect with them in the beginning to help you through your local food purchases. Because local food sales and purchases by Minnesota school districts have soared in recent years, some local county and city health inspectors are not aware of all of the state rules that support these types of sales. If there seems to be an issue with how regulations are interpreted at the local level, contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Dairy and Food Inspection Division to ask for clarification: 651-201-6627.
Questions School Foodservice Can Ask Farmers About On-farm Food Safety Practices
- On-Farm Food Safety Information for Foodservice Personnel (184 K PDF). The goal of this document is to provide a list of questions about on-farm food safety practices that foodservice personnel can use when talking with farmers from whom they are considering purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. The questions are meant to be a guide so that foodservice can have an informed discussion with a farmer about the food safety practices they use on their farm
Regulations for Buying from Farmers
Legal Issues Impacting Farm to School and School Garden Programs in Minnesota — Public Health Law Center — This legal synopsis provides an overview of the key legal issues involved in farm to school and school garden programs in Minnesota.
The following fact sheets were developed in collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the University of Minnesota Extension.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Mushrooms
- Serving locally grown produce in food facilities (282 K PDF)
- Harvesting and selling wild mushrooms in Minnesota (399 K PDF)
- Existing food facilities planning to can fresh foods for sale (293 K PDF)
- Existing food facilities planning to freeze, dry, or otherwise preserve (307 K PDF)
- Hand sanitizers: Not a replacement for handwashing in foodservice settings (247 K PDF)
Meat and Poultry
- Sale of Locally Raised Eggs to Food Facilities (604 K PDF)
- Whole, unprocessed grains fall under the same rules as raw, unprocessed vegetables and fruits. Any buyer can purchase from any farmer.
- Milled grains — meal or flour — must be produced and stored at a facility that is inspected and approved by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Some farmers in the state have these approved on-farm milling facilities.