Selling Homemade Food in Nebraska

People love fresh-baked cookies and cake right out of the oven. Yet selling homemade food at most venues was illegal in Nebraska until 2019, when the Institute for Justice successfully lobbied for the passage of the Nebraska Pure Food Act. Now, Nebraska home bakers who complete a food safety course can sell their delicious goods directly to customers almost anywhere in the state, including online.Exceptions include retail outlets like grocery stores. Read about the Institute for Justice’s Nebraska cottage food victory… 

Nebraska cottage food types

Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Cottage food producers in Nebraska may sell baked goods like breads and cookies, along with candy, honey, syrup, dried fruit, jams, jellies and snacks. Forrager Cottage Food Community provides a more detailed list of allowable Nebraska cottage food products 

Lincoln cottage food restrictions

Not everyone celebrated the passage of the Nebraska Pure Food Act. Regulators in Lincoln took steps to undermine the reform almost immediately. Despite warning letters from the Institute for Justice sent to the Lincoln City Council and Health Department in July 2019 and January 2020, the city moved forward with its own rulein defiance of state law. As promised, the Institute for Justice responded with a lawsuit on behalf of Lincoln cottage food producers on May 19, 2020. Follow the Lincoln cottage food lawsuit 

Nebraska cottage food facts

Myths about cottage food abound. Here are the facts: 

  • Cottage food is safe. Critics who talk about the risk of food-borne illness give hypothetical examples of what could go wrong because real-world cases are rare or nonexistent. 
  • Cottage food is local. When neighbors trade with neighbors, money stays in the local economy. 
  • Cottage food is transparent. People who buy from a cottage food producer know what they get. If they have questions about ingredients, sourcing or safety, they can ask.
  • Cottage food creates jobs. Many homemade food producers use their income to provide for their families. Others seek a secondary or supplemental income. 
  • Cottage food empowers women. IJ cottage food research shows that most cottage food producers are women, and many live in rural areas with limited economic opportunity.
  • Cottage food expands consumer choice. Some stores simply don’t sell what you want. This is especially true if you have a gluten-free, peanut-free, halal, kosher or vegan diet. Cottage food fills market gaps, giving consumers more options.

Nebraska cottage food resources 

As part of its Food Freedom Initiative, the Institute for Justice provides a variety of resources for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs. These include: 

Selling Homemade Food in Nebraska

Nebraska cottage food resources:

  • Nebraska Cottage Food Bill: Like this Facebook page to learn more about the Nebraska cottage food law, how you can get involved, and learn tips of the trade from fellow cottage food producers.

Tell your Nebraska story

Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Nebraska? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here… 

Support Nebraska legislation

Help expand cottage food laws in Nebraska by teaming with the Institute for Justice. Send an email with your name, background information and availability to get started… 

Defending homemade food freedom nationwide 

People have a right to earn an honest living without arbitrary and excessive government interference. Since 2013, the Institute for Justice has defended home bakers and chefs as part of its Food Freedom Initiative. Read about IJ’s nationwide food freedom advocacy…

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky |Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Statutes, regulations, and processes are subject to change at any time, and specific facts and circumstances could alter how they are applied. If you have questions about the regulation of cottage foods in your jurisdiction, we recommend consulting a lawyer who can help you navigate the process. 

Sign up to receive IJ's biweekly digital magazine, Liberty & Law along with breaking updates about our fight to protect the rights of all Americans.