Food Product Liability Series

Publication Date: November 3, 2021

The new Montana Local Food Choice Act (or Food Freedom Law) opens up opportunities for producers and small businesses to sell additional food products without a license. Products include: 

  • Raw milk and dairy products
  • Poultry
  • Fermented foods, like pickles, kimchi, and more 
  • Pestos, salsas, sauces, and other processed goods 
  • Foraged foods, like mushrooms 
  • Perishable baked goods
  • Processed and frozen vegetables
  • Prepared meals

Producers who wish to sell any of the above products should be aware of the liability risk of selling without a license, registration, or inspection. That’s why, in partnership with Farm Commons, AERO hosted two free digital workshops addressing the opportunities and risks associated with the sale of food under the new Food Freedom Law. Farm Commons is the leading national resource for farmers and ranchers providing knowledge and skills needed to resolve key legal vulnerabilities. The series is designed to support producers and farmers’ market managers in understanding the new law and the steps to take against possible liability issues.


Workshop 1: Legal Liability and Food Related Incidents

This first workshop focused on the general legal concepts surrounding liability, especially for food related incidents. We outline when and how legal liability for a food related incident is assigned and how producers and food business owners generally manage these liabilities. 

This workshop is designed to help producers manage liability and develop legal resilience regardless of whether their product is exempt from licensure under the Food Freedom Law. 


Workshop 2: Decoding Montana Food Freedom

This second workshop focuses on the recently passed Montana Local Food Choice Act, also called the Food Freedom Law. The workshop helps producers, food manufacturers, cottage food operators and farmers’ market managers understand what is and is not permitted under the new law, clarifying the opportunities and challenges presented by the Montana Local Food Act. It also highlights the effect of the law on traditional legal liability for a food related incident. 

Video #1: Legal Liability and Food Related Incidents

Video #2: Decoding the MT Food Freedom Act: An Opportunity for Producers

AERO Cottage / Value-Added Food Program Manager


  • Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Processing
  • Production


  • Community (Live)
  • Farmers Market
  • Food Production
  • Retail (Shop/Eat)

Project Resource

  • Education Materials
  • Professional Development/Training


  • Value-Added Producer Toolkit