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North Dakota Ag News Headlines
Health Dept. to Host Hearings on Proposed Cottage Foods Rules
North Dakota Ag Connection - 03/13/2018

The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) Division of Food and Lodging has scheduled three public hearings on proposed administrative rules for the production and sale of cottage food products. Written comments will be accepted through April 4.

The ND Cottage Foods Act is new legislation that allows for the direct sale of uninspected homemade products. This provides new opportunities for home-based food businesses making homemade products such as baked goods, jams, jellies, and pickles, to enter certain markets in North Dakota. Cottage food products do not require a license or registration, do not require a sanitary inspection, and do not require allergen labeling.

"The proposed rules are important to provide practical, food safety standards to protect public health and maintain access to a safe food supply," said Julie Wagendorf, director of the Division of Food and Lodging for the NDDoH.

The public hearings will be held March 22 from 9 to 11 a.m. Central Standard Time at the North Dakota Department of Health, located in the Capitol Judicial Wing, Room 212, 600 E. Blvd. Ave., Bismarck; March 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. Mountain Time in the Southwestern District Health Unit training room, 227 16th Street West, Dickinson; and March 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Central Standard Time in the Oak Room at Fargo Cass Public Health, 1240 25th Street South, Fargo.

Regarding the Bismarck hearing, please note that due to recent security changes at the Capitol, the public must enter through the south entrance of the building and pass through metal detectors.

"All comments received at the public hearings are appreciated and will be fully considered by the North Dakota Department of Health," said Wagendorf. "Creating proposed rules that offer safeguards to consumer's health is our number one priority."

Written comments on the rules are given equal consideration as oral comments. Written comments may be submitted through April 4 by emailing the division at foodandlodging@nd.gov or by mailing written comment to the NDDoH c/o Division of Food and Lodging, 600 East Blvd Ave, Dept. 301, Bismarck, ND 58505-0200.

Additional information on the proposed rules and public hearings can be found on the Division of Food and Lodging website at www.ndhealth.gov/foodlodging/. Statute surrounding the Cottage Food Rules can be found in the North Dakota Century Code, Chapter 23-09.05.

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