SACRAMENTO, CAâ€” Today, Assembly member Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) AB 626 cleared the Assembly Health Committee with overwhelming bipartisan support. This Homemade Food Operations Act will clarify existing food laws and add safeguards to permit the sale of prepared meals and other foods from small-scale, home kitchen operations.
Assembly member Garcia’s legislation establishes a framework to expand micro-enterprise opportunities for producers while protecting the health of consumers. Home food operations will be required to comply with food handling rules, including training for cooks, and limits on the number of meals or people served.
“AB 626 improves public health safeguards around the existing informal food sales economy. Bringing home cooks currently excluded from our state’s stringent cottage food laws, out of the shadows,” said Assembly member Garcia, former Chair of the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee. “Legitimizing these home businesses will stimulate an important lever of economic empowerment for immigrant, minority, and other vulnerable populations while creating healthy, self-reliant Californian communities.”
“Assembly member Garcia’s Homemade Food Operations Act can help foster and grow small businesses in our community and create jobs,” stated Angela Janus, Executive Director of ShareKitchen, a food industry development non-profit. “Both our local and regional partners throughout Riverside County strongly feel that this measure will provide valuable opportunities to local cooks who can launch and grow small food businesses from home, eliminating barriers to entry into the local food economy.”
“Today’s win was a significant stride toward building a more inclusive food system,” professed Assembly member Garcia. “Modern technology has already begun to transform the food industry. This legislation will allow us to get ahead of this emerging trend to ensure health and safety.”