Wisconsin home bakers now OK to sell items without flour
LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin home bakers can now sell flourless cookies, brownies and other similar treats after some culinary confusion was cleared up Thursday.
That message came from Lafayette County Circuit Court Judge Duane Jorgenson this afternoon.
The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) was telling home bakers they could only sell shelf-stable products made with flour. Thursday, an attorney representing DATCP said that’s because of a Wisconsin State Statute that says using any ingredient other than flour could pose a potential health risk to consumers of in-home bakery items.
Judge Jorgenson pointed to a previous ruling that states as long as baked goods are “not potentially hazardous,” unlicensed home bakers should be able to sell them.
It was welcome news to bakers’ ears. Especially those who specialize in gluten free options.
“I’m excited for the opportunity that so many other home bakers now have,” Dela Ends, owner of Innisfree Farmstay and Retreat/Scotch Hill Farm.
Ends said at home bakers selling flourless products is a recipe for success.
“A big issue is gluten free,” Ends said.
Ends has a daughter with Celiac Disease.
“She’s very restricted in what she can consume,” Ends said. “And homemade gluten free products are really good because they’re nice and fresh.”
“For me to be able to produce a perfectly safe product and sell it to my neighbor, that’s our fundamental right,” Lisa Kivirist, Owner of Inn Serendipity Bed and Breakfast said.
Kivirist said this is a step in the right direction, but it’s taken several years to get to this point, after dealing with legal matters against the state.
Attorneys at the Institute for Justice (IJ) have represented home bakers in Wisconsin for the last several years in court appearances involving disagreements with DATCP.
“The response we’ve always received is push back or simply not realizing the opportunity for us to contribute to our state’s economy,” Kivirist said.
Culinary masters like ends considers this a victory, not just for the home bakers, but the community as well.
“This is a wonderful day for the home bakers to have some clarity and they will be happy and busy making wonderful food for people,” Ends said.
The Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection declined a formal on camera interview with NBC15 News Thursday, but did send this statement in response to when DATCP will make those changes to their website about which foods can be sold by at home bakers:
“DATCP is reviewing the outcome of today’s hearing. When appropriate, we will make necessary changes to the publicly available information on what foods can be manufactured and sold by unlicensed home-based food processors. The department will immediately conduct its inspection and enforcement activities in compliance with the court’s decision.”
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