Legal homemade food sales on the way

pbjcookiesIn 2013, the word “homemade” will take on a new meaning in California.  Under a new law, citizens will have the right to make food in their home kitchens and sell it, with rules, of course.  Locally, planners and environmental health officials have started to get ready for the new law, and at least one local woman has active plans to start food sales come January 1, 2013.

Assembly Bill 1616 lays out the new legality of how to make homemade foods and sell them.  In the text of the bill, a list of 16 permitted foods basically says no dairy products or meats of other foods that could develop bacteria.

Inyo County Environmental Health Director Marvin Moscowitz said earlier he and others held public meetings to discuss the new bill.  He said as many as 150 people attended more than one meeting.  He said Inyo County will soon have forms on the website.  The Inyo Supervisors approved a fee ordinance and zone change in residential areas for Cottage Food Operations, as they are called.

Moscowitz said the new Food Act allows Class A – direct sales out of the home or at an event for $50 per year and Class B – indirect sales to supermarkets and restaurants for $146 per year.  Moscowitz said it’s a big change for Environmental Health.  He said the purpose is to promote local, healthy foods and to counteract the recession with new small business ventures.

Mono County Environmental Health Director Louis Molina said he is waiting for the State to come out with generic forms and a check list.  If not, he said, Mono Environmental Health will devise their own forms.  Fees, he said, will go to the Mono Supervisors after January 1st.  For information, Molina asks the public to call the Bridgeport or Mammoth Lakes Environmental Health offices.

And, a Mammoth Lakes woman is ready to go with her new homemade food business.  Janadale Sylve has a website, products and plans waiting for the new law to take effect.  Supervisor-Elect Tim Alpers had presented her plans to the Board of Supervisors in November with the hope that she could get started before 2013.  Alpers said Sylve is a “superb talent with exotic cookies that come from her family heritage in Louisiana Bayou country.”

Janadale could not get a permit early, but she has started to take orders.  Her website, www.janadalescookies.com, displays a parade of cookies and ways to order and receive a “Made With TLC” t-shirt.  Sylve said she has long made cookies for her family, but was prohibited beyond that until AB1616. She said,“That gave me the green light.”  Sylve added that the new bill is designed as a way to start a business on a small level with the ability to grow.  And, so, Janadale’s Word-of-Mouth Cookies was born.

Many other local, home kitchen businesses will likely follow. For more information, check out AB1616: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120AB1616

 

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