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Bill to Allow Home Food Crafters to Sell Goods Could Pass Today

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A bill that would allow home food crafters to sell their wares could be passed by the California Senate as soon as today.

The bill, entitled AB 1616 but also known as the Cottage Foods Bill, was written in response to the incident where the Los Angeles County Health Department ordered Mark Stambler to stop selling the bread he baked each week in his backyard oven in Los Feliz. At the time, the 59 year-old had hoped baking could become his full-time business.

Opponents say that bill, which was co-written by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), could be a risk.

Says the L.A Times article:

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"There's no way to ensure that they have the minimum standards in place — basic hot and cold running water, equipment in good repair," said Liza Frias, chair of the California Retail Food Safety Coalition. "We don't want baked goods coming out with metal in them."

But supporters of the bill feel that the sale of small batch goods could spawn an entirely new industry that our state could use considering how many people are without jobs. Currently, food crafters have to prepare their items in expensive commercially licensed kitchens, but this bill would open up the doors for them to do so at home without having to pay rent or handling fees.

AB 1616 could come soon as today. We'll keep you posted as the story develops.