Cottage Food Law Would Make it Easier to Prepare Value-Added Foods for Market
AB1616, the California Cottage Food Bill, has been progressing through committee with unanimous support this spring. The new law would make it possible to produce popular market items at home. Current law requires that all processed food for sale be prepared in a permitted kitchen, a major obstacle to small farmers and market vendors where it is difficult to find such a kitchen available for short-term use. Even bake-sales are illegal in California under current law.
The new cottage food law would change that, allowing home producers of “non-potentially hazardous foods” to take their products to market. “Potentially hazardous foods” include anything made with meat, dairy products (except as ingredients in doughs), and canned low-acid foods. The new law would allow home production for sale of baked goods of all kinds (except those with meat or cheese fillings), jams and jellies, dried nuts, chocolate covered non-perishables, fruit pies, fruit or vegetable empanadas or tamales, kombucha, and other products.
Cottage food producers would have to register with their local public health agency, pay a fee to cover costs of registration, and meet certain simple health and sanitation requirements in conducting their operations. A full copy of the text of the bill, along with legislative history to date, can be found at