MPLS [Food] Swappers Cancel Swap After MN Health Dept. Contact

From an email from Kim Christensen of MPLS Swappers, a group that we profiled in March:

“Last week, organizers Mandy, A-K, and I were contacted by the Minnesota Department of Health. The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health both have concerns over the format of our swap, the types of food being exchanged, and the unregulated nature of the event. The Department of Health informed us that they believe that under the current statue, the one-for-one exchange of homemade goods constitutes a sale, and therefore, the type of foods we are “selling” and the absence of regulation and licensing with which we are doing so is not legally permitted.

We are working to confirm this and clear up some of the grey areas in the law.  Because there is a chance that our swap format does not comply with state law, and being pressed on time to find an appropriate solution, we have chosen to cancel the December 11, 2011 food swap and postpone creating events for 2012.”


  1. Kim Christensen

    We hope to be back in January with a format that allows us to exchange our lovingly prepared food, grow our community, maintain the strong grassroots spirit of the vent, and be safe from further investigation from the State. We believe strongly in keeping this group active in the Minneapolis food scene, and while we’re frustrated with this development, we’re dedicated to ensuring that we can continue with our vision for this group! -Kim Christensen, MPLS Swappers founder and co-organizer

  2. Joanna

    Good luck, I love the project, but when my mother ran a cooking school from our home, she was required to meet commercial standards in her kitchen for it to be legal, so I’m not surprsied. When I saw the original story, I wondered how long it would take before this happened.
    Potluck? OK. something that looks like commerce? gray area,

  3. David

    Can I sign a waiver that says I understand that any food not made by a multinational corporation may be unsafe but that i am an adult and that is a risk i can willingly choose to take.

  4. Kris

    @David – I relocated to Portland from Mpls and have participated in three swaps to date (the next, in fact on Dec 11) where I believe there is something that people either sign or is posted, releasing anyone from “risk/danger/etc.” I wish the Mpls group the best because I know how much I’ve enjoyed participating in swaps.

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