Is it legal to sell food on Facebook?

The Greater Lansing Food Bank's 29th annual event is on October 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30...
The Greater Lansing Food Bank's 29th annual event is on October 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Source WILX) (WILX)
Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 9:11 PM EST
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In a world full of Uber Eats, Door Dash and Postmates, the food delivery options are endless.

And now, people are using Facebook to sell and deliver their own home-cooked foods, which begs the question: is selling food over Facebook legal?

Tamales, nachos, pulled pork, desserts, and even whole lobster meals, are being sold and delivered to the public on Facebook community groups, and for many, this is how they make a living.

As you scroll through Facebook pages like Lansing Local Eats, all kinds of food are posted selling for $5 to $20, not including delivery fee.

"I think it's really cool that people are trying to do it, its a nice little way to share the homemade meals that you love and want to share with others that you might not be able to find these specific things at restaurants," said Elizabeth Kruger, owner of Bakes by Beth.

Kruger owns and operates Bakes by Beth, which specializes in dessert deliveries. But to legally bake, sell and deliver her goods, her offerings are limited under the Cottage Food Law.

"I can't make cheesecakes because they have to held at a temperature of 42 degrees or less. Same goes for any cream pies, there are sometimes I will, if they come pick it up at my house, I have it refrigerated with instructions that way it protects me and they aren't consuming a product that is going to go bad," Kruger said.

The Cottage Food Law allows for the sale of food that doesn't require time or temperature control to be made in a home kitchen.

Linda Vail, an Ingham County Health officer, said food prepared in a non-licensed kitchen for the public is against the food code law and should be shut down.

"We are just protecting people. We aren't trying to keep others from distributing food that might not have it, we just want to make sure it's done in a safe and appropriate way just like we hold our restaurants accountable for," Vail said.

The health department said there are community licensed kitchens available, that anyone can legally use, to prepare food to be sold and delivered.

The department said they plan to investigate community food Facebook groups to see how the food is prepared and if it needs to be shut down.

The health department has issued cease and desist orders through Facebook to people not using licensed kitchens. Health officials say make sure to find how and where food is being prepared before ordering it off of social media.

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