In February 2017, a bill was introduced in the California legislature to expand the types of homemade foods allowed to be sold in California, especially hot meals. The bill, AB 626, was introduced by Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia and Joaquin Arambula, however, the bill is still in “spot bill” form, meaning that the full details are not yet written in the public record. The current bill just paints a picture in broad brushstrokes of what the two Assemblymembers seek to achieve. Nevertheless, this is really exciting and potentially groundbreaking legislation! However, after much deliberation and meetings with stakeholders around the state, we’ve decided that we will only support further homemade food legislation if it ensures some form of community ownership of any web platforms intermediating the sale of homemade foods.
Current California Law: For information about the current law, the California Homemade Food Act, (aka "cottage food" law) and legal information on how to start a home-based food business now, click here.
Our Policy Proposal: Click here to read a general overview of the issues and our ideas.
Click here to download our summary proposal (3 page pdf).
Click here to download our full policy proposal (8 page pdf).
Blogs: Our Food News Blog posts about changing the law around homemade food in California:
- "A New Homemade Food Act" (April 13, 2016): an intro about efforts made in 2016 to change the law
- "Update on the New Homemade Food Bill" (May 2, 2016): a more in-depth discussion about ownership and control of our food system and an update on the legislative efforts
- "Preliminary Feedback on New Homemade Food Sales Policy" (October 4, 2016): a report-back from a series of conversations in Southern California discussing nuts and bolts issues to be addressed in potential legislation
- "Nuts and Bolts: More Ideas for Regulating Homemade Food in California" (October 6, 2016): a discussion of some more nuanced issues to be addressed in terms of food handling and preparation
- "Stockton Mom Prosecuted for Selling Homemade Food" (November 10, 2016): reaction to the prosecution of Mariza Ruelas
- "New Homemade Food Legislation - 2017" (February 16, 2017): update on a new bill, AB 626, and our law center's take on it.
Please write to Christina@theselc.org if you have concise feedback to share via email or if you’d like to invite us to a more in-depth conversation with your organization or community group.