Frequently Asked Questions

General Business:

Food Production:

Where do I find Labor Posters?
Employers are required to display certain posters in the workplace where workers can see them. The posters linked below meet the full legal requirements and can be downloaded and printed free of charge. For more information about individual posters, call the agencies listed.Click here to access.

What is the current Minimum Wage?

The minimum hourly wage is $7.50 per hour. Starting January 1, 2017, the minimum hourly wage is $9.00 per hour; starting January 1, 2018, the minimum hourly wage is $10.00 per hour; starting January 1, 2019, the minimum hourly wage is $11.00 per hour; and starting January 1, 2020, the minimum hourly wage is $12.00 per hour. On January 1, 2021 and each January 1st thereafter, the minimum hourly wage then in effect must be increased by the increase, if any, in the cost of living. The increase in the cost of living must be measured by the percentage increase, if any, as of August of the previous year over the level as of August of the year preceding that year in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, CPI-W, for the Northeast Region, or its successor index, as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics or its successor agency, with the amount of the minimum wage increase rounded to the nearest multiple of 5¢. If the highest federal minimum wage is increased in excess of the minimum wage in effect under this section, the minimum wage under this section is increased to the same amount, effective on the same date as the increase in the federal minimum wage, and must be increased in accordance with this section thereafter. Read the Minimum Wage Statue.

What questions can I ask about Service Animals?

A PA may make two inquiries to determine whether a dog is a service animal:
1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?
These are the ONLY permissible inquiries that may be made. The PA ma y not ask about the nature / extent of the person’s disability. These inquiries should not be made at all when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to perform work for a person with a disability, such as a dog that is observed pulling a wheelchair.
Read the Maine Human Rights Commission Pamphlet

Can my store be Open on Major Holidays?

For most retailers operating in Maine, they are prohibited from opening on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. The relevant statute is in Title 17, Chapter 105, Section 3204. However, Maine’s law has a number of exceptions. The law states that “Stores that have no more than 5,000 square feet of interior customer selling space, excluding back room storage, office and processing space” are an exception. Therefore, the basic rule of thumb is if your store is over 5,000 sq. ft., you can’t be open.MGFPA recommends that you consult with with law firm on record to determine whether or not you can legally be open.

As a food retailer, what are the proper sales tax percentages?

We recommend you visit the Maine Revenue Service’s Sales, Use and Service Provider Tax Bulletins and Guidance Documents and reference Bulletin #12, Retailers of Food Products. Last Revised: December 3, 2015 (effective January 1, 2016).

How do I start a Food Business in Maine?

Interested in joining Maine’s growing food community? There are a handful of lincenses, food safety regulations, and business skills which you’ll need to be aware of as you enter or expand your food business. Learn more from the University of Maine’s Recipe for Success.

Why do I need a UPC Barcode?

To introduce your product into the supply chain and/or gain efficiencies throughout the distribution process, it is important to define identifier structures for your products which can be used throughout all segments of the food industry for shipping, receiving, inventory control, product and asset tracking and many other applications.

Tracking and tracing of product movement at low cost and high accuracy is practical to do by scanning products barcoded per a standard (a GS1 Company Prefix, a Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®), a U.P.C., or a GTIN-14).  This standard-based product identification helps ensure that everyone in the supply chain can unambiguously read and use the information encoded in the barcodes. 

Barcoding products allows for information to be captured immediately once the product is scanned; thus eliminating the need to manually read and key the information into your systems.  This information is not limited to just the identification of the product, but can include additional attributes of the product that are needed by the handler of that product.  This is beneficial for members throughout the supply chain that physically handle the product.  It will also reduce all of the resources required to manually key in the information and the resolution of errors caused by mis-keying the data.

Looking for information on how to create a UPC barcode? Contact MGFPA today for more information on barcode creation and resources. 

How do I get my food tested?

The University of Maine offers a new online process for submitting product for testing. For more information visit:

Where do I find Food Safety Information from the FDA?

The Food Code is a model for safeguarding public health and ensuring food is unadulterated and honestly presented when offered to the consumer. It represents FDA’s best advice for a uniform system of provisions that address the safety and protection of food offered at retail and in food service.
FMI: 2017 Food Code

FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Education Resource Library is a catalog of printable educational materials and videos on topics related to food safety, nutrition (including labeling and dietary supplements), and cosmetics. Materials are available in PDF format for immediate download. Some print materials are also available and can be ordered individually or in quantities.