It sounds like with this law California is officially starting to power up food security with food sovereignty. YES! Let’s get our own states to follow suit.
February 9, 2014
by Nick Sibilla
Forbes.com, via Keith
In January 2013, just a few days after the law went into effect, Stambler became the first person in Los Angeles County to sell homemade food legally. Since he’s re-started his business, he hasn’t received a single complaint from consumers.
More home bakers have followed. In Los Angeles County, there are almost 270 cottage food businesses. Statewide, over 1,200 homemade food businesses have been approved.
Under the California Homemade Food Act, local governments cannot ban cottage food businesses based in private homes. Instead, home-based entrepreneurs can sell their goods after passing a “food processor course” (which can be done online), properly labeling their goods and practicing common-sense sanitationwhen cooking and baking. Those who want to start their own cottage food business legally need only register or obtain a permit, as either a Class A or Class B operation.
The two permits distinguish between the types of cottage food business an entrepreneur may want to run. Class A businesses are exempt from routine inspections, but can only engage in “direct sales,” i.e., straight to the customer. That includes farmers’ markets, bake sales and from the home business itself. Meanwhile, Class B operations require inspections, but also allow “indirect sales” to third-party retailers, like restaurants, bakeries, delis, groceries and food trucks.
Both Class A and B businesses can directly sell throughout the entire state. Yet indirect sales are still limited to the county where the Class B operation is based.
In California, bread, biscuits, candy, chocolates, churros, coffee, cookies, cupcakes, dried pasta, tortillas, trail mix, popcorn, vinegar, tea, nut butters, mustard, dried fruits and some jams and jellies all qualify as cottage food. But selling homemade food that contains meat, seafood or dairy is still verboten.
So far, cottage food businesses appear to be safe. A dozen county public health departments report they have yet to receive a single complaint about them. Nor did these departments have to revoke any permits.
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