Long Beach has the opportunity to enact California’s new Homemade Food Act (AB 626) this year, which creates a permit process for the previously illegal occupation of selling homemade meals. The bill, signed into law by Gov Jerry Brown, took effect on January 1st 2018, but requires a local ordinance to establish it here in Long Beach.
Long Beach Fresh, a community-based non-profit, is seeking input from aspiring cooks who may want to take advantage of this new policy. The act requires a city-level ordinance to be adopted. Please read more, and take our survey so we can gauge interest.
Here’s a bit more info:
Under the new regulations set forth in State’s recently passed Assembly Bill 626, home-based food businesses could be permitted by local health departments to directly sell meals to consumers, via delivery or pick-up the day-of production. Aside from the previous Cottage Food Law, which lays out a short list of shelf-stable foods that can be made in home kitchens, this one extends to all sorts of prepared foods. The legislation establishes standards including food safety inspections, requirements for a food handler’s card, and for cooks to be insured.
Though limited in its scope, we’ve seen Cottage Food Law make a huge difference for local food makers, building a strong base before expanding their operations. Meanwhile, a lack of commercial kitchen space for use in Long Beach has been a barrier to growing food operations that lack capital.
The Homemade Food Act stipulates that food must be prepared, cooked, and served on the same day and picked up by the customer or delivered within a safe time period, and that home kitchen operators will be required to obtain food manager training and certification. Home cooks also would bear the costs of a permit, annual inspection, and liability insurance.
A new homemade food law might actually work toward economic inclusion and equity for residents who have a knack for cooking but don’t have the capital to start a brick and mortar or rent a commercial kitchen. It may also lend more diverse flavors to the local food scene. Stil, we need to know who’s hoping to utilize this policy as decision makers begin to consider it.