jason_kraft Posted 20 Feb 2012 , 6:44am
post #1 of

The California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616) was recently introduced in the CA state assembly!

The rules from the bill are at the link below (these rules may change as the legislative process continues). Registration with the local health dept would be required, probably including a fee, but no routine inspections are required (unless there is a complaint) and there is no limit on sales. Wholesale, mail order, and internet sales are OK. Section 113406 of the bill also restricts the ability of municipalities to disallow legal homemade food operations for zoning reasons, which is great for home bakers but this provision may not survive. From what I can tell it looks like compliance with the trans fat ban is handled on the honor system, but that may change. I would also be surprised if a gross sales limit was not added to the bill.
http://www.theselc.org/cottagefood/cottage-food-lawscottage-food-law-bill-language/

You can support the bill by contacting your state representatives:
http://www.theselc.org/cottagefood/takeaction/

144 replies
kelleym Posted 20 Feb 2012 , 1:59pm
post #2 of

Thanks for the heads-up. Good luck to you all.

costumeczar Posted 20 Feb 2012 , 9:00pm
post #3 of

I just told the girl from the telemerketer who called me from California about this. She was very surprised that you can't work from home in California since she's in pastry school and was obviously planning to do that.

snowboarder Posted 21 Feb 2012 , 12:03am
post #4 of

You can also track the bill here.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Feb 2012 , 6:13pm
post #5 of

AB 1616 was referred to the Assembly's health committee on 2/23. Contact information for the committee can be found at the link below:
http://ahea.assembly.ca.gov/

And a list of members in the committee:
http://ahea.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff

If you live in California and your rep is on the committee this is a great opportunity to voice your opinion.

jason_kraft Posted 15 Mar 2012 , 10:55pm
post #6 of

This bill (among others) will be discussed at a health committee assembly hearing on Tuesday, March 27th, at 1:30 p.m. in the State Capitol building, Room 4202 in Sacramento.

If you live in the area and would like to testify for the bill (you'll have 3 minutes max), contact the committee at 916.319.2097.

http://ahea.assembly.ca.gov/hearings

traci_doodle Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 7:49pm
post #7 of

I currently live in NY but will be moving to CA in a few months. I read over the outline of the bill and it states that you can only sell "non-potentially hazardous foods". That same line is in the NY supposed "cottage food law" and from what I understand, here in NY that means you can't make cakes (too high in moisture) or buttercream (uncooked butter) in your home kitchen to sell (although you can build a separate commercial kitchen on your property). Basically all you can do is sell cookies at the farmer's market. Yeah, not so helpful for a cake decorator. Anyway, do you know what it means in California? Dare I hope it could include cakes? Anyone know?

Apti Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 9:41pm
post #8 of

A quick search pulled up this site about the Cottage Food law in Texas. Sounds similar to the proposed components of the California law.

http://www.texascottagefoodlaw.com/FAQ.aspx

Cakes, cookies, and even Earlene's Cream Cheese Icing are ok.
http://www.texascottagefoodlaw.com/Resources/Recipes/CreamCheeseButtercreamEarlene.aspx
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Thanks for posting, Jason!

traci_doodle Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 11:55pm
post #9 of

Thanks! That gives me hope then. I had noticed that other states seemed to treat it differently (why is NY so weird?). Now if only this bill will pass! I'll see if there's anything I can do to help it along. But I probably need a resident address first. icon_smile.gif

Apti Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 1:01am

Thank you jason_kraft. I have created a thread on Wilton.com as well. Please send this information to all the cake forums you can think of so the maximum # of people can start writing!

Here's the link to the Wilton.com thread:
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=160834&STARTPAGE=1&CFID=49973427&CFTOKEN=28298455

jason_kraft Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 2:38am
Quote:
Originally Posted by traci_doodle

I currently live in NY but will be moving to CA in a few months. I read over the outline of the bill and it states that you can only sell "non-potentially hazardous foods". That same line is in the NY supposed "cottage food law" and from what I understand, here in NY that means you can't make cakes (too high in moisture) or buttercream (uncooked butter) in your home kitchen to sell (although you can build a separate commercial kitchen on your property). Basically all you can do is sell cookies at the farmer's market. Yeah, not so helpful for a cake decorator. Anyway, do you know what it means in California? Dare I hope it could include cakes? Anyone know?



California has a very specific definition for potentially hazardous foods. Basically, if it doesn't require refrigeration you should be OK, so things like cheesecakes and cream cheese frosting are probably out, but regular BC and most traditional cakes are safe at room temp.

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/HSC/1/d104/7/2/s113871

traci_doodle Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 2:47am

Thank you jason_kraft! I'm glad to know that is California's stance. I'm really rooting for this to pass!

Sunshine0063 Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 4:32pm

I just signed it today, if you live in California please sign this even if you are not interested in starting a business now you never know if your interest will change in a few years.

jason_kraft Posted 21 Mar 2012 , 3:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

This bill (among others) will be discussed at a health committee assembly hearing on Tuesday, March 27th, at 1:30 p.m. in the State Capitol building, Room 4202 in Sacramento.

If you live in the area and would like to testify for the bill (you'll have 3 minutes max), contact the committee at 916.319.2097.

http://ahea.assembly.ca.gov/hearings



Discussion of AB1616 has been pushed back to the April 10th health committee hearing (same time, same room).

Sunshine0063 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 5:57pm

I've already signed if you live in CA please sign and then come back to this thread and sign your user name or put a smiley face or something so that this thread will keep going back to the cc home page and make more people aware of this. Once you reply to the the thread it will show up under the forum tab as one of your watched topics.

Apti Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 4:25am

Bump

dutchy1971 Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 4:53pm

Signed icon_smile.gif

justsweet Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 5:27pm

It was to be looked at on 3/27/12 put moved to 4/10/12

On April 10 the committee will be looking at the bill, new amendments needed to be added and some other stuff needed to be worked out as requested by the legislative staff in Sacramento.

Apti Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 6:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchy1971

Signed icon_smile.gif




Thank you! Spread the word!

Allie06 Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 6:13pm

Oh my...this is pretty amazing! We find out wether its good April 10th?

jason_kraft Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 6:37pm

Only the health committee will be looking at the bill on April 10th...so it will either be approved by the committee (meaning it can be put to a vote by the full assembly, which may or may not happen this year), amended (meaning further debates before a floor vote is possible), or shelved.

mom2twogrlz Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 7:22pm

This would be so great. I am not sure if I want to go inot business, but atleast I would have the option. I like baking when I want for friends and family....the thought of doing it all day everyday makes me a little ill. But YAY!!!

Apti Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 7:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Only the health committee will be looking at the bill on April 10th...so it will either be approved by the committee (meaning it can be put to a vote by the full assembly, which may or may not happen this year), amended (meaning further debates before a floor vote is possible), or shelved.




Thanks for the additional info, Jason. Would you please keep us informed as the slow, convoluted Government process rolls onward? [I bumped your original thread, but then re-posted to see if we get anymore signatures with a different thread title.]

justsweet Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 8:48pm

Update:

The hearing date for the bill going before the Health Committee has been pushed back to April 17. There's an amendment process going on to clarify some of the language which is taking longer than expected. Hang in there! We'll make it to committee soon. We'll provide an update once the amendments are hashed out. The team is fighting for amendments that keep the red tape and costs to a minimum for cottage food producers. Information posted by Christina Oatfield from Sustainable Economies Law Center

FromScratchSF Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 9:11pm

Just wondering, I've mentioned this to a few people and they laugh saying this will never in a million years happen - the CA hospitality industry is planning to nuke it before it ever gets to the Assembly. Has anyone else heard this?

I don't mean to be pessimistic, I was just wondering if anyone has heard anything about the opposition.

justsweet Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 9:15pm

Have not heard that. Christine did post that Whole foods in CA is supporting the bill.

ATCakes Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 9:46pm

If we spread the word enough to show that we really want this to happen then we can beat them. Besides it really doesn't affect them much.

Sparklekat6 Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 10:23pm

The Hospitality Industry?? You don't need them to nuke the bill, the State Legislature does a fine job all by their lonesome of being anti-business.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Apr 2012 , 1:18am
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsweet

Have not heard that. Christine did post that Whole foods in CA is supporting the bill.



I'm not surprised, WF (and Michaels, and independent cake supply stores) stands to gain quite a bit from an influx of new legal home bakeries.

The hospitality industry would be hotels and restaurants who cater expensive events and don't want to see home bakeries steal their business. If the hospitality industry does weigh in against this bill chances are it will not be passed unless there is a significant counterbalancing lobbying effort in the form of a well-funded home bakery SuperPAC.

Apti Posted 4 Apr 2012 , 2:16am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

If the hospitality industry does weigh in against this bill chances are it will not be passed unless there is a significant counterbalancing lobbying effort in the form of a well-funded home bakery SuperPAC.




I think a "well funded home bakery SuperPac" is probably an oxymoron.

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