Baker helps effect change in cottage food law

Photo by babe_kats via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Thanks to Helena Bottemiller, a reporter for Food Safety News, I came across this recent piece from Cami Joner for The Columbian (Vancouver, Washington’s daily newspaper). Joner reports how Felicia Hill, a part-time baker working out of her home, helped get Washington state to update its laws that govern proprietors of small-scale, direct-sales food operations.

As a sidebar explains, “The Cottage Food Operations Law allows people to make low-risk food products in their own home kitchens and sell directly to consumers. Until this change, no [commercial] food processing has been allowed to take place in home kitchens.”

Joner reports that

For her work last year outlining the rules behind Washington’s Cottage Food Act, Hill will ceremoniously receive the first legal permit to sell low-risk foods made in the home.

The Washington state Department of Agriculture expects more than 1,000 potential small businesses across the state to apply for permits to sell baked goods, nuts, jams and jellies at farmers markets and through other direct-sales avenues. The permit is available for bakeries that generate no more than $15,000 in gross sales annually….

Washington is among three states to recently enact a cottage food law, putting the rule in place just before South Carolina and Colorado, which both passed similar legislation this year. In all, 26 states now have cottage food laws, breaking away from traditional models of production in which food is sold to consumers who have little or no idea where it came from.

For more, check out the full article here.

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