California bill would allow home cooks to sell goods

Mark Stambler shows a couple of loaves of bread he baked in his backyard wood-burning oven. He had been selling about 50 loaves a week until the Los Angeles County Health Department ordered him to stop.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Ever tasted one of your mom’s brownies or grandmother’s cookies and thought ‘we should sell these’? Think you could open a bakery with your recipe for homemade chocolate chip banana bread? If a new California bill is passed regarding the sales of homemade goods, you may be able to put those fleeting thoughts into action.

Lawmakers in California are currently deciding on whether to pass bill AB 1616, co-written by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake). If passed, it would allow home cooks and bakers to sell goods not made in a commercial kitchen. The bill is aimed at giving people a way to make some extra money and boost healthful, homemade eating.

The state Senate could cast a final vote on the bill as early as Wednesday. Home bakers could take advantage of the bill by selling as much as $50,000 worth of goods per year, as long as those goods are free of cream and meat products.

From an article in our Business section:

“This is maybe the most significant public-health-related bill in this year’s session,” said Bruce Pomer, executive director of the Health Officers Assn. of California.

With consumers increasingly jittery over recall scares and reports of food-borne illnesses, critics worry that the bill, AB 1616, co-written by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), could become a dangerous example of health-related corner-cutting — especially in direct-to-consumer sales.


Read the full article on California’s homemade goods bill.


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