California Cottage Food Act Introduced In State Assembly

Decorating By jason_kraft Updated 12 Nov 2012 , 4:47am by ellavanilla

jason_kraft Posted 18 May 2012 , 5:37am
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You can click the Subscribe button at the bottom to automatically be notified of new updates. As of now the bill is still in the appropriations committee.

bnbmom Posted 18 May 2012 , 8:03am
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Thanks jason!

jason_kraft Posted 22 May 2012 , 5:48pm
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AB 1616 has been scheduled to be brought up during the Assembly Appropriations hearing this Friday, May 25th. There are a ton of other bills on the agenda so it's possible the committee may adjourn before getting to it.

mom2twogrlz Posted 29 May 2012 , 2:11pm
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I think it passed!!!! Jason did I read that right? And what does that mean now? How soon could this take effect?

kelleym Posted 29 May 2012 , 2:12pm
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It passed Appropriations. Join this group for timely updates:

jason_kraft Posted 29 May 2012 , 2:18pm
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Now that the bill is out of appropriations, the assembly must vote on it by Friday, otherwise it won't be passed this year. If the assembly does pass it this week, the process starts again in the CA senate, where it must pass health, appropriations, and another floor vote. If the senate passes it by Aug 31, Gov. Brown can sign it by Sep 30th, and it would take effect Jan 1, 2013.

mom2twogrlz Posted 29 May 2012 , 2:45pm
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So we still have a ways to go, but atleast there have been a few steps in the right direction. I guess we all just continue to wait.

Apti Posted 29 May 2012 , 2:55pm
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Thanks everyone for the updates.

jason_kraft Posted 30 May 2012 , 1:26pm
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There was a floor vote in the Assembly for AB 1616 yesterday, it passed 56 - 19 and was sent to the Senate. It is currently in the Senate Rules committee, today's Rules hearing was cancelled but they will be meeting again on Wed, June 6th.

The deadline is now Aug 31 to get to a Senate floor vote.

paulstonia Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 4:03am
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Saw it on the news yesterday! I was working on a FREE cake I was making for my cousins graduation and it was exciting to see it on the news where people who don't bake or have any ideas of the legalities could see it. It was given a very positive spin too.

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 4:16am
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Formynana Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 3:11pm
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I know this is going to sound crazy, but in a nutshell I'm confused about this new law. Sounds to me like us who are homemakers and do cakes/cupcakes for bake sales for schools and charities no longer can use buttercream frostings or fresh fruit fillings unless we get lic and put labels on all our products??? thanks in advance for clearing this up! icon_smile.gif

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 3:41pm
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Originally Posted by Formynana

I know this is going to sound crazy, but in a nutshell I'm confused about this new law. Sounds to me like us who are homemakers and do cakes/cupcakes for bake sales for schools and charities no longer can use buttercream frostings or fresh fruit fillings unless we get lic and put labels on all our products??? thanks in advance for clearing this up! icon_smile.gif

You will need to have labels on all your products regardless, and your municipality may or may not require a business license. But if you use shelf-stable buttercream frosting (meaning it does not have to be refrigerated) you wouldn't need to be inspected by the health dept if this law passes. Fresh fruit is probably out unless it is shelf-stable.

Also, to clarify, under current CA law you cannot legally sell any food made from your home kitchen without passing a health dept inspection, so AB 1616 would make the rules less restrictive.

jason_kraft Posted 20 Jun 2012 , 3:05pm
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The CA Senate Health committee will be hearing this bill next Wednesday, 6/27, at 1:30pm in room 4203 of the State Capitol building.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Jun 2012 , 2:47pm
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The CA Senate has posted an interesting analysis of the bill, which will be heard today in Health.

Based on the concerns below, the Senate has suggested amending the list of NPH foods and potentially removing the ability to sell wholesale from the bill.


AFDO guidance. AFDO, an international, non-profit, food
industry-focused organization aimed at streamlining and
simplifying federal, state, and local regulations, issued
regulatory guidance in April 2012 to discuss best practices
for the oversight of cottage foods. According to AFDO, the
regulatory guidance document is a consensus effort to set
standards for CFOs that preserve public health while still
allowing for economic opportunity. Highlights of this guidance
include the following:
a. Definitions. AFDO provides definitions for "cottage
food products" and "potentially hazardous food," which are
fairly consistent with the definitions in this bill. A key
distinction is AFDO's definition of "cottage food
operation," which is defined in part as a person who
produces cottage food products only for sale directly to
the consumer. AFDO suggests prohibiting sales by internet,
mail or phone order, consignment or wholesale. This bill
goes beyond this definition by including indirect sales of
cottage food products to third-party retailers.
b. Permitting and inspections. AFDO suggests that all
cottage food operators be permitted annually by the
regulatory authority on forms developed by that authority.
AFDO suggests the regulatory authority be required to
examine the premises of the CFO to determine it to be in
compliance with requirements. AFDO guidance permits the
regulatory authority to inspect at any time, and whenever
there is reason to believe the cottage food operation is
in violation of these requirements or is operating in an
unsanitary manner. This bill does not describe inspection
requirements. Class A CFOs are merely required to
self-certify that they meet applicable requirements. Class
B CFOs are required to be permitted, but the bill is
silent on how inspections would occur for this class.
c. Non-potentially hazardous food items. AFDO provides a
list of food items they consider to be non-potentially
hazardous, and therefore acceptable for CFOs, as well as a
list of food items AFDO considers unacceptable for CFOs.
This bill issues a list of items that is largely similar
to the AFDO list, but with a few notable exceptions: 1)
This bill allows chocolate covered non-perishable foods,
whereas AFDO prohibits tempered or molded chocolate or
chocolate-type products; 2) This bill allows mustards,
which AFDO prohibits; 3) This bill adds baked goods such
as breads, whereas AFDO allows most breads except for
focaccia-style breads with vegetables and/or cheeses; 4)
This bill lists additional items that AFDO does not
address, like honey and sweet sorghum syrup, dried mole
paste, fruit butters and nut butters.


8.Opposition. The California Association of Environmental
Health Administrators (CAEHA) is opposed unless two provisions
are amended. CAEHA asserts that this bill is a major departure
from the CRFC in two ways: it would allow food prepared in
private homes to be sold to the public, and it would
pre-approve a set of "low-risk" foods to be prepared and sold
in this manner. CAEHA states that the limitations they have
been considering for these indirect or wholesale sales have
not allayed the concerns of local regulators. The inspection
of private homes by local or state regulators is fraught with
enforcement challenges and the geographic or sales volume
limitations considered for these indirect sales are likely to
be impractical to establish and impose. CAEHA says that while
it may be possible to develop criteria to limit these indirect
sales, these have not yet been identified. Local regulators
understand that legitimizing the emerging cottage food
industry in California may have some economic and limited
nutritional benefits. CAEHA asserts that they would remove
their opposition if this bill was amended to allow only direct
sales to consumers.

CAEHA also expresses concern over the list of pre-approved
low-risk not potentially hazardous foods in AB 1616. CAEHA
instead suggests using the list proposed by the National
Association of Food and Drug Officials, which has been
reviewed and approved by food safety experts across the
nation. CAEHA also suggests amending the bill to give CDPH
authority to add or delete foods on the list as needed in
order to keep the list current and valid.

gingerbreadtogo Posted 27 Jun 2012 , 4:10pm
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It is interesting that they are considering indirect sales. I bet that will be removed.

Apti Posted 27 Jun 2012 , 4:34pm
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Thank you again for the detailed and precise update.

I appreciate you, Jason.

mom2twogrlz Posted 27 Jun 2012 , 4:53pm
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Originally Posted by Apti

Thank you again for the detailed and precise update.

I appreciate you, Jason.

Yes, thank you!

Donnawb Posted 27 Jun 2012 , 11:49pm
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Does anyone know what happened with the bill today?

kelleym Posted 28 Jun 2012 , 3:07am
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Per the Sustainable Economies Law Center on Facebook

"The CA Homemade Food Act just passed unanimously out of the Senate Health Committee!! Amazing work by our volunteers and everyone who showed up and made phone calls!! Just a few more hurdles for this bill, but this was a huge one!"

cindynes Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 3:22am
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I have been trying to keep my eye on this Cottage Food Act for some time and since the last post on June 27 and the good new of passing the Senate, has anyone heard of anything else going on? The last post said something about some other hurdles. What kind of hurdles have to happen before it is signed by our Governor gets to sign it into law? I'd appreciate any updates anyone knows about. Thanks

kelleym Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 3:25am
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Join this Facebook group for timely updates.

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 3:33am
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There have been some minor amendments to the bill (nothing really applicable to home bakeries) and the amended version will be reviewed by the Senate Appropriations committee (which looks at the financial impact of bills) on August 6th.

If it is passes Appropriations and is sent to the Senate floor by Aug 17th, and the bill is passed in a floor vote by Aug 31, it can be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on or before Sept 30. It would then take affect on Jan 1, 2013.

Updated info:

Donnawb Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 4:53pm
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Jason - It's my understanding from reading the bill that a food handler course is required in order to get a permit. Do you know where these courses are offered or where I can get information on this type of course? Thanks!

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 5:01pm
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We used ServSafe, they offer classes across the country and online.

Donnawb Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 5:09pm
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Thanks so much for the info!

cakecraving Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 5:27pm
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As always we appreciate the updates icon_smile.gif

cindynes Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 8:40pm
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And this is why I just love CC!!!! Thank you so much kelleym and jason_kraft for your help in response to my questions. I will hook up with the facebook site and look into the food safe program too. I have called my senator, congressman, and everyone I can think of to encourage them to see that this bill passes. So, far so good and I've got my finger's crossed that Gov. Brown does the right thing.
Thanks again cake friends!

dcakes27 Posted 17 Jul 2012 , 5:23am
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OMG, I had no idea about this, it is awesome, thanks so much for the info!

ATCakes Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 7:27pm
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Jason I was reading the amended bill and it looks like they modified the Class A and Class B definitions. If iread it correctly we can't use our home ovens to prepare baked goods? Or did I just get confused in all the legislative language?

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