Matt Powers
Matt Powers · May 30, 2023

ARLINGTON, Va.—Today, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals decided to temporarily allow the state to enforce a ban on the sale of certain homemade foods while the case proceeds on appeal. In December 2022, the Lafayette County Circuit Court struck down as unconstitutional a state ban on the sale of shelf-stable foods like fudge, dried herbs, Rice Krispies treats, and roasted coffee beans. In February 2023, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection filed an appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals asking it to review the Circuit Court’s decision. That appeal is still pending.

However, the government also asked the Circuit Court to stay the ruling pending appeal. Last month, the Circuit Court denied the government’s motion for a stay. The government then decided to appeal that ruling too. Today, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals entered a stay without deciding who, ultimately, is going to win the case. In practical terms, this means that for-profit sales of most homemade, shelf-stable food products are once again prohibited in Wisconsin—at least for now.

“For five months, Wisconsinites have been selling these perfectly safe, homemade foods without incident,” said Institute for Justice Senior Attorney Justin Pearson. “It makes no sense to stop them now, and we look forward to continuing the fight.”

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