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Safe food product sampling and demonstrations

Quick facts

  • Food sampling and cooking demonstrations are a legal way to promote your food business without a license.
  • Food product samples and demonstrations may be offered at farmers markets or community events. 
  • Follow safe food handling practices to keep you and your customers healthy.    

Summary of the law

Offering food product samples and demonstrations is a way for food entrepreneurs to promote their businesses.  The Minnesota Statute 28A.151 was first enacted in 2014 and provided the requirements of food product sampling and demonstration to vendors at farmers markets and community events. The law was amended in 2024 to clarify existing and new requirements to ensure the safety of the food samples. 

Food sampling and cooking demonstrations are allowed at farmers markets and community events without a license. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) defines a farmers market as an association of three or more persons who assemble at a defined location that is open to the public for the purpose of selling products of a farm or garden occupied and cultivated by the person selling the product. There is not a formal definition of a community event; however, the MDA describes it as an organized event with a defined start and end time in which multiple participating vendors are open to the public. Local municipalities may define these differently so contact your local regulatory agency as needed. 

If you plan to offer samples or conduct food demonstrations, familiarize yourself with the law. You should be prepared to provide a regulatory authority with pertinent information about your plan. Review the safe food sampling law fact sheet and planning worksheet in the “Resources'' section of this page to help you prepare.


Safe food sampling and demonstration practices

Safe food handling is essential when making, packaging and serving food samples and when conducting food demonstrations. Apply the following safe food handling practices at your event to comply with the law and keep your customers healthy. If you are pre-packaging food samples prior to the event, follow these practices in your kitchen. 



  • Use this food sampling and cooking demonstrations worksheet to guide your event planning. Any person offering food samples or conducting cooking demonstrations must be able to provide a regulatory authority with pertinent information. This worksheet can help you prepare for these requests. This worksheet is developed by the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association.
  • For more information on the food sampling and product demonstration law, review the safe food sampling law fact sheet. This fact sheet is developed by the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association and is intended to help persons implement and adhere to the law requirements.

Author: Amy Johnston, Extension food safety educator

Reviewed in 2024

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