Montana Local Food Choice Act of 2021 will receive a renewal in the 2023 legislative session in Helena, with no local boards involved.
Changes to the law include:
- Boards of County Commissions are subject to the law regarding Farmer’s Markets.
- Transactions are not subject to regulation by Boards of County Commissions.
- Homemade food and products sold at a farmer’s market or farm stand are subject to the same labeling and other requirements.
Jeff Havens, a former Montana food safety official, wants the law amended to consider canned foods high-risk. As addressed in 2021, Montana’s “Food Freedom” law puts the public at risk for botulism poisoning, which recently took the life of a person who likely acquired the potent toxin from canned soup.
The MLFCA opens the production and sale of these high-risk cottage foods. Within days of the law’s passage, Havens recalled an outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni illness caused by raw milk marketed under the new law.
Havens says the Montana Department of Health and Human Services Food and Consumer Safety unit “has a duty and obligation to create a guidance document on commercial food ingredients” for use under the Act. It must limit products to only intrastate ingredients.
Flynn, D. (2023b, January 23th). Food safety expert says Montana’s «Food Freedom» law puts public in danger. Food Safety News. https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2023/01/food-safety-expert-says-montanas-food-freedom-law-puts-public-in-danger/