(WFRV) – Chilling inside most fridges across Wisconsin are some forms of margarine, but is it actually illegal to sell/serve it?

Wisconsin legislature has a dedicated section just for oleomargarine/margarine regulations, which include selling it, serving it and substituting it for table butter.

In section 97.18 of the Wisconsin State Legislature, people can find oleomargarine regulations. The section includes oleomargarine, margarine, butterine and other similar butter-alternative substances.

In Wisconsin, no person shall sell, offer or expose for sale at retail any oleomargarine or margarine unless a few conditions are met.

Those conditions are:

  • Such oleomargarine or margarine is packaged
  • The net weight of the contents of any package sold in a retail establishment is one pound
  • There appears on the label of the package the word “oleomargarine” or “margarine” in type or lettering at least as large as any other type or lettering on the label in a color of print which clearly contrasts with its background, and a full accurate statement of the ingredients contained in the oleomargarine or margarine
  • Each part of the contents of the package is contained in a wrapper or separate container which bears the word “oleomargarine” or “margarine” in type or lettering not smaller than 20-point type

Additionally, the statute says that colored margarine cannot be served as a substitute for table butter at a public eating place unless it is ordered by the customer. Margarine can also not be served to students, patients or inmates of any state institution as a substitute for table butter. There is an exception that could be ordered by the institution’s superintendent when it is necessary for health reasons.

Those who violate the law can be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500. Perpetrators could also face up to three months in prison.

The full section on margarine can be viewed here.