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Pickled or Fermented Products

June 4, 2024 - <>,

Important Note Connect with a Product Center Counselor

Key Information

A Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) license or licensing from a local health department is required to sell pickles and/or fermented foods because of the risk of foodborne illness, which can cause serious health problems and potentially death. Likewise, pickles and/or fermented food products must be made in a licensed commercial kitchen. Additionally, shelf-stable pickles and/or fermented food recipes must be reviewed by a Process Authority, and many require some special certifications such as Better Process Control School, before being sold to consumers. Process Authority Review (PAR) testing can be completed with assistance from the MSU Product Center.  

Regulatory Body and Contact Information

Helpful Links


Important Note

All food and beverage products (even similar items) may have different regulations depending on what ingredients are used, the location or facility in which it is being produced, the packaging materials used, the distribution or shipping methods, as well as a variety of others. Licensing and regulation for food and beverage production in Michigan is administered by Local Health Departments, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), local zoning regulations, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). 

To guide you through the process of launching your food or beverage business, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s Product Center is an organization that brings together on-campus expertise in the sectors of food, agriculture, and natural resources to help entrepreneurs define and launch innovative products. Field-based innovation counselors advise entrepreneurs on a variety of services, including business planning, packaging and labeling rules, licensing and regulatory requirements, marketing, branding, distribution, product testing, and other product development needs.  

To access business development assistance from the MSU Product Center staff, select the “Become a Client” button on the MSU Product Center website. There is a $100 application fee to join, which grants clients access to unlimited counseling hours. We also ask that clients sign a confidentiality agreement to protect their information. 

If you have specific questions about how your product will be regulated, you may reach out to your Local Health Department or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). 


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