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New Laws Governing the Cottage Food Industry

Contrary to what many people would have you believe the social networking sites i.e. Facebook do impact lawmakers and lawmaking, at least they did here in Colorado. The new Colorado Cottage Foods bill was approved in committee on Thursday, January 27, 2012, after home bakers organized on Facebook and then showed up at the state capitol bearing tasty treats bearing the Colorado State Seal. Maybe the sweats did it, no one will every know for sure, but House Bill 12-1027 passed with an unanimous vote. The Colorado Cottage Foods Bill is now on the governors John Hickenlooper's desk awaiting his signature.

Contrary to what many people would have you believe the social networking sites i.e. Facebook do impact lawmakers and lawmaking, at least they did here in Colorado. The new Colorado Cottage Foods bill was approved in committee on Thursday, January 27, 2012, after home bakers organized on Facebook and then showed up at the state capitol bearing tasty treats bearing the Colorado State Seal. Maybe the sweats did it, no one will every know for sure, but House Bill 12-1027 passed with an unanimous vote. The Colorado Cottage Foods Bill is now on the governors John Hickenlooper's desk awaiting his signature.

The current H.B. 12-1027 is not the same Bill that passed committee, but one that has gained some important amendments as it passed through the legislative process. Like many of the goodies baked in home kitchens, the Bill has become puffed up. If signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper, it will means some important changes governing the cottage foods industry.

Exempt from regulations.

Anyone selling fewer than 3,000 eggs per month direct or through farmer markets will no longer be required to obtain a license.

Local farmers and home kitchens producing small quantities of food for sale will be exempt from the need to procure a retail food restaurant license.

Home kitchens producing food products for sale to the public will be exempt from inspection as long as they sell directly to the consumer and do not sell their product through retail stores.

The Bill, if signed into law, will allow the use of any kitchen—private, commercial, or public—to be used as long as the user observes the limits placed on home kitchens.

The bill exempts schools and all nonprofit organizations from most criminal and civil liabilities unless an injury or death results from an act of omission involving gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

The Bill if signed into law will also exempt nonprofit organizations e.g. food banks, from liability for injuries or death caused by donated food.

Eighteen other states.

If Governor Hickenlooper signs H.B. 12-1027 into law, the great state of Colorado will join twenty-six other states adopting new cottage foods legislation. The one thing that all these state cottage food industry laws will have in common is exempting home-produced foods from the need to be licensed and the home kitchen being exempt from public health inspections. Most of the laws in the other twenty-six states are limited to non-hazardous foods and they lean towards baked goods.

Other States with pending cottage food laws

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina

States with cottage food laws

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

States without cottage foods laws.

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island

States with restrictive cottage food laws

  • Alabama
  • Kentucky
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Tennessee

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Comments (10)

Sounds like good news to me. I wonder what the laws are like here in Canada?

I wasn't even sure what "cottage food" was, thanks for the info!

FB largely got our present president in office, so I know the value of that network. Bringing goodies did it for this bill, I think. thank you for the article.

Voted and stumbled - great job.

The impact of social media illustrated again! Thanks for the info Jerry.

Thanks for the information, I feel good about that bill..voted

Power to the people. Write on!!

Ranked #4 in Food Safety

This is good news. Our local conference center has lost business because of the old laws.

Ranked #1 in Food Safety

@ Brenda Nelson. I have no idea what the Cottage Food Laws are like in Canada but I may research it and then do an article on them if I find sufficient, reliable information.

Another excellent eye opener about the positive effect of facebook, Jerry.

Here in the UK lots of people sell their eggs and extra fruit and veg they grow in homemade stalls outside their homes. I love buying from them, as the produce is fresh and is cheaper. Its good to support cottage food. Thanks for an interesting article Jerry.

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