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Food Service Licensing and Cottage Food Operators

Food Safety Classes

The Oneida Food Service Code requires all individuals who wish to sell food at any Tribal Event or on Nation property to take a food handler safety course. Our aim is to educate our food providers and have only the safest food products served in our community. Take a class here. (Note: A food handler safety training certificate is NOT a license to sell food.) 

Food Service Licensing

Per Oneida Food Service Code, any person that wishes to sell prepared food for profit must obtain a license.  This includes:

  • vendors that sell at temporary events,
  • vendors that wish to open a permanent establishment
  • vendors that wish to become an Independent Food Service Operator (selling, for profit, food that is prepared off-site, independent of permanent establishment, at or within a location approved by the Department within reservation boundaries throughout the year)

How to Become a Licensed Food Service: 

Temporary Food Service Establishments (one-time event, for profit)

  1. Complete Food Safety Course Certification, verify your food safety certification is current.
  2. Contact the Oneida Nation Sanitarian at (920) 869-4554, or at least three weeks days prior to the event with date, location, and time.
  3. Complete and submit temporary food service establishment license application at least one week prior to the event. 
  4. The Oneida Sanitarian will inspect your facility to ensure compliance with Oneida Food Service Code prior to the start of the event. 

Permanent Establishment

  1. Complete the Plan Review Application and  Operational Plan for Retail Food Establishments BEFORE construction or remodeling. 
  2. Complete a food safety course, and verify your food safety certification is current.  ServSave Food Protection Manager and Oneida Food Handler Safety Courses are accepted credentials.
  3. Insurance is not a requirement of food service licensing, but is highly recommended.
  4. Upon plan review approval from the sanitarian, complete Perm License App 2024  and mail or return the application and the payment to Brittany Nicholas at  Little Bear Development Center, PO BOX 365,  N7332 Water Circle Place, Oneida, WI  54155
  5.  Oneida Sanitarian will review and contact you via next steps.

Independent Food Service Operator (selling within reservation boundaries throughout year without a permanent restaurant/establishment)

  1. Complete Food Safety Course Certification, and verify your food safety certification is current.
  2. Complete Perm License App 2024    and mail or return the application and the payment to Brittany Nicholas at Little Bear Development Center, PO BOX 365, N7332 Water Circle Place, Oneida, WI  54155 or 
  3. Insurance is not required for Independent Food Service Operators, but it is highly recommended.
  4. Oneida Sanitarian will review and contact you via next steps.
Frequently Asked Questions and Important Notices
  1. All vendors are required to have one (1) person on site at all times that has proof of a current food safety certification.
  2. The above licensees are required to prepare food in a Nation approved commercial kitchen or approved set-up.  This does NOT include your home kitchen. 
  3. Licenses will be granted through Oneida EHSLAD after the Oneida Sanitarian has completed a successful inspection and approves the application requirements. 
  4.  Community sponsored non-profit fundraising and/or charity events are not required to have Food Safety Certification, nor are they required to submit an application or undergo inspection.  It is highly recommended that at least one (1) person involved in the preparation of the food for the event attends a Food Safety course and has knowledge of the Oneida Food Service Law.  

Cottage Food Operator Exemption: In accordance with the amendments made to the Oneida Food Service Law, homemade, non-potentially hazardous foods may now be sold for profit and be exempted from the regulation of this law. This means licensing requirements, including fees, are waived. A full copy of the current Food Service Law can be found here: Chapter 305 Oneida Food Service Law BC-05-13-20-D (with new amendments) Please make sure to read the entire law to understand if you meet the qualifications to register as a Cottage Food Operator.

What does this mean? You may now make and sell non-potentially hazardous food products from your home, directly to the consumer (not via the internet, mail, or through a third party), without needing to be licensed. Cottage foods present a lower risk of causing  foodborne illness.  

What qualifies as a non-potentially hazardous, low risk food?   “Cottage food products” mean foods, produced within the home kitchen of a domestic  residence, that are non-potentially hazardous, including non-perishable baked goods such  as cakes, most fruit pies, breads, brownies, cookies and muffins; dry mixes; dried fruit;  jams, jellies and preserves; home-canned foods such as apples, peaches and lemons or  salsa, pickled vegetables and hot sauces; and other non-potentially hazardous foods that  the Department characterizes as cottage food products for purposes of this law.   This includes foods with a pH of 4.6 or less and a water activity of  0.85 or less or an interaction of these values such that the food is not sensitive to time and temperature requirements.   If you are not sure if your food product meets the definition of non-potentially hazardous, please contact the Department to inquire and gain approval.

How do I qualify as a Cottage Food Operator Exemption?   HOME-CANNERS: If you are looking to make and sell home canned goods, you are required to FIRST complete a canning safety course.  Pre-approved canning courses include: The online-course (CURRENTLY FREE) offered by University of Michigan Extension found at **Other courses must be approved by the Oneida Nation Cannery**

REGISTRATION: Cottage Food Operators must be registered with the Department prior to selling home made foods.  Registration forms can be found and completed here annually: FY24 Cottage Food Exemption Registration Form FINAL

LABELING REQUIREMENT: Cottage food products MUST be labeled with the following information: (1) The name and address of the cottage food operator; (2) The name of the cottage food product and the date on which it was prepared, processed or canned; and (3) A clearly legible sign or placard that states: “this product is homemade and not subject to inspection by the Nation.”

For more information contact Brittany Nicholas, Sanitarian Office: (920)869-4554 or Email:

After-hours emergency?

If you have an afterhours emergency (i.e emergency meaning an “Imminent health hazard” exist which is  a significant threat or danger to health which requires immediate correction or cessation of operation to prevent injury such as fire, flood, extended interruption of electrical or water service, SEWAGE backup, misuse of POISONOUS OR TOXIC MATERIALS, onset of an apparent foodborne illness outbreak, or gross insanitary occurrence or condition), please call 920-655-1708 or email

Additional/Contact Info