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Now Trending: Mushroom Products

If you’ve scrolled on social media or strolled through a health food store recently, you may notice that mushrooms have been crowned as a “superfood.” Claimed benefits range wildly, but one thing is for sure: processing mushrooms probably requires a license. This is an ever-changing landscape, as food entrepreneurs advance faster than the FDA and MDARD can write policies pertaining to the specifics of novel products. 


Both cultivation and wild foraging of mushrooms are considered activities of a farm. Raw, whole mushrooms are covered under the Produce Safety Rule, and thus subject to the same restrictions and allowances as other raw fruits and vegetables.  Mushrooms are harvested by cutting the fruit from the substrate. This first cut is the “harvest,” the same as picking an apple or a cucumber. This whole mushroom is a raw agricultural commodity and should be handled and sold according to the Produce Safety Rule. If you are foraging mushrooms from the wild, Michigan’s Food Code requires that each mushroom is individually inspected and found to be safe by an approved mushroom identification expert. See  for additional information and upcoming certification courses.


If you are the person or business entity who cultivated or wild-foraged mushrooms, then you may be able to dry those whole, uncut mushrooms prior to sale. However, any cutting, slicing, pulverizing, or otherwise transforming the whole mushroom is considered processing. Processing likely requires a food license and regular MDARD inspections.


There is a long list of trendy mushroom-based products on the market, including supplements, teas, mushroom-infused beer, and more. These value-added products are not covered by the Produce Safety Rule, require licensing to produce, sell, or store and may be subject to the special requirements for dietary supplements, manufactured or retail foods. This means it may not be permitted to sell these products without appropriate licensing. If you are interested in producing or selling any processed mushroom product, please contact MDARD at 1-800-292-3939 to connect with a food safety inspector who can assist you in determining what regulations may apply to your business.

Article by Breanna Hannula, Produce Safety Technician


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