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California governor signs bill allowing sale of some homemade foods

September 21, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing sales of some homemade foods, such as non-meat empanadas, in California.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing sales of some homemade foods, such… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will allow Californians to make certain foods and baked goods at home and then sell them to stores, restaurants and directly to consumers.

On Friday, Brown signed AB 1616, which supporters say will create a lucrative cottage food industry in the state and serve as an alternative source of income for residents.

Now, wannabe entrepreneuers can skip the expensive step of leasing certified commercial kitchens before selling their home-prepared confections. The list of approved products include “non-potentially hazardous food” such as bread, fruit pies, jams, honey, dried nuts and other goods that don’t involve cream or meat ingredients.

The legislation, co-written by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), still requires home food producers to complete a food processor course, label their goods and, depending on who they’re selling to, undergo inspections and registrations with the local health department.

The California Homemade Food Act will “help small and fledgling businesses produce and sell food made out of their homes under a more streamlined regulatory structure,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

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