Many states have legalized the sale of shelf-stable homemade goods in recent years. Wyoming has gone further, adopting a Food Freedom Act in 2015 that allows the sale of nearly all types of homemade foods directly to the consumer without any sort of government license or inspection. The law became even better in 2017 and again in 2020 with additional reforms. In 2021 the Food Freedom Act was expanded again with House Bill 118.
Wyoming homemade food laws
Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Homemade food producers in Wyoming may sell shelf-stable foods and foods that require refrigeration if they clearly indicate that the food is homemade and not regulated. The original Food Freedom Act excludes the sale of all meat products except certain poultry items, but the 2021 expansion allows the sale of homemade food and drink to the maximum extent allowed by federal law. Homemade food producers may also sell additional meat products like beef or poultry within the state as long as they are made from inspected meats. For example, a person could buy beef from the supermarket, cook it at home, and sell cheeseburgers or tacos. Egg producers with fewer than 3,000 hens may also sell their eggs to consumers and retailers without having to inspect or grade the eggs. Learn more about Wyoming food freedom rules…
Wyoming homemade 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. Since Wyoming’s Food Freedom Law took effect in 2015, there has not been a single outbreak of foodborne illness from food sold under the law.
- 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. Within the first five years of Wyoming’s Food Freedom Law, the number of farmers’ markets in the state—a proxy used to measure homemade food businesses—has soared by nearly 70%.
- 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.
Wyoming 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:
- Model Food Freedom Act from the Institute for Justice guides activism efforts at state capitols nationwide.
- Flour Power: How Cottage Food Entrepreneurs Are Using Their Home Kitchens to Become Their Own Bosses surveys 775 cottage food producers in 22 states about what their businesses mean to them.
- Ready to Roll highlights nine lessons from the Institute for Justice’s cottage food victory in Wisconsin.
- The Attack on Food Freedom examines the impact of regulations on farmers, chefs, artisans, restaurateurs, food truck operators and others.
Tell your Wyoming story
Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Wyoming? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here…
Support Wyoming legislation
Help expand cottage food laws in Wyoming 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…
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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.