Ever since I posted about this new food bill, folks have been emailing asking for updates. The good news is that the California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616 has been introduced in the State Assembly by Assemblymember Mike Gatto. The latest news is that the bill should go up for a vote sometime this month (crossing fingers).
The California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616, passed the Assembly Committee on Health yesterday afternoon! CFJC and 59 other orgs support this bill for a more localized food system. The bill is set to be voted on by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 2.
What is a “Cottage Food Law” and why should homesteaders be interested?
Cottage food laws, sometimes referred to as “baker’s bills,” are laws that allow people to make certain foods in their own home kitchen and then sell them on a small scale, typically directly to consumers and at farmer’s markets. Cottage food laws allow individuals who are interested in starting their own food business get started developing a customer base and raising some of the money required to further develop their business. Removing the significant financial and logistical barrier of having a commercial kitchen makes starting one’s own food business more accessible and more feasible for a greater number of people. It also gives consumers more access to a greater variety of home-cooked, artisan and other unique foods at their farmers’ market or right in their neighborhood.
Cottage Food Laws typically allow only foods that are often classified as “non-potentially hazardous foods” in state and federal laws. While the specific foods that are allowed or not allowed in each state vary somewhat, this list below includes most foods that are allowed under cottage food laws in at least some states:
o baked goods (but with no cream, custard or meat fillings)
o jams and jellies and other preserves with a pH of 4.6 or less
o granola and other dry cereal
o waffle cones and pizzelles
o nut mixes
o chocolate covered non-perishables (such as nuts and dried fruit) and other candy
o roasted coffee
o dry baking mixes
o herb blends
o dried tea
o dried fruit
:: RESOURCES ::
Cottage Food Law Update in other States