April 01, 2009
Cottage foods

As you know, I've touted the Handmade Toy Alliance, of which my cousin Jill is a member, on behalf of folks who run small home-based businesses making toys, crafts, clothes, and the like. Via a Facebook message from an old friend and college classmate, Kathy Gregoire, I learn there's a related movement here in Texas called Texas Cottage Food Law. From their website:

With the economy in its current state, you may have been thinking of starting a little cake or cookie business from your home to help make ends meet.

But in Texas it is currently illegal to sell any food that was made in a residential kitchen. You cannot be licensed for a home bakery.

A group of dedicated cake artists are trying to change that law.

Representative Dan Gattis has filed a bill which would make it legal to sell non-potentially hazardous foods prepared in residential kitchens. It is House Bill 3282. This bill is currently before the Public Health Committee.

The Public Hearing was Tuesday, March 24. Watch a broadcast of it here.

The main points of the bill are summarized here. Basically, this would allow folks to register with the Department of Health to sell "non-potentially hazardous homemade foods" - mostly baked goods like cake, brownies, cookies, and bread - directly to consumers; no retail or commercial sales. This strikes me as a perfectly reasonable thing to ask for, so I support this effort. There's a petition you can sign, though if you really want to have an effect, you should call your State Rep, as the Texas Cottage Food Law site recommends. Bills like this often get lost in the shuffle - in a session like this, where we're just now getting around to voting on some things, that's even more so - but there's nothing like feedback from constituents to get a representative on board.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 01, 2009 to Food, glorious food
Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)