The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for licensing commercial food establishments. According to the Michigan Food Law of 2000, most food vendors and retail food establishments must obtain state licensing to sell food products to the public. Vendors selling only "low-risk" food items, those with low risk of airborne contamination such as packaged, prepared food products, may be exempt from Michigan Food Law and state licensing requirements.
Retail grocery markets, bakeries, butchers, processing plants, vendors and county and state vendors must obtain licensing from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development before they can sell food products to Michigan residents. In addition to the Michigan Food Law, vendors of food concession stands are subject to the Weights and Measures Act; the Weights, Measures, Packaging and Labeling Regulation; Consumer Pricing and Advertising Regulation; and 2005 Michigan Federal Food Code. Additionally, they are subject to food-specific regulations depending on the types of food products they sell.
Although some vendors may be exempt from Michigan's licensing regulations, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development requires that all exempt and nonexempt food vendors undergo inspections by the department.
Food vendors that sell only fresh, whole vegetables and fruits are not required to obtain licensing. Furthermore, retail food vendors that sell only unprepared and packaged food products are not required to be licensed. Temporary food concession vendors that do not prepare food and sell only nonhazardous and uncooked foods may be able to sell their foods without obtaining a state license, but they must still be inspected by the department.
Food vendors that are required to be licensed must submit an application for licensing to the department within 30 days before they plan to start selling. The FI-107 is the Food Establishment License Application Form. All licenses expire April 30; vendors must renew their licenses annually. The license fee for "Mobile Food Establishment Commissary" vendors is $175 annually. However, the licensing fee for a "Temporary Food Establishment" is $28 annually. Temporary vendors cannot operate for more than 14 consecutive days and are generally licensed for specific events, such as county fairs. The "Special Transitory Food Unit" license is $135 annually. Transitory food unit vendors are mobile food establishments temporarily operating throughout Michigan without having to return to commissary food refill centers.
Certification or Knowledge of Michigan Food Law
Food concession vendors must have hot and cold potable water, single-serve food utensils and plates, and soap, and are responsible for employing at least one food protection manager certified by the state. Alternatively, food vendors operating concession stands can become knowledgeable with the provisions of the Michigan Food Law. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will conduct an on-site inspection and, during the inspection, will test the food vendor's knowledge of the Michigan Food Law.
Since state laws can frequently change, do not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.
- Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development: Who Needs a License to Sell Food?
- Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development: FI-107 Food Establishment License Application Form
- Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development: Food Establishment Licensing Details & FAQ
- Michigan Legislature: Food Law of 2000