KEY POLICY ISSUES

COTTAGE FOOD

AB 1616 (Gatto), the Homemade Food Act, allowed for the first time in California the production for sale of certain non-potentially-hazardous foods in home kitchens. The program went into effect at the beginning of 2013 and is overseen by the California Department of Public Health. Their web page here.

provides the text of the bill, the current list of approved foods, and other information.

Everything you might want to know about the program has been compiled by the Sonoma Ag Ombudsperson here. On that site they list the CDPH approved foods as of January 1, 2018. Some things might be specific to Sonoma County, so it is important that you check with your own county, as you must obtain a permit to operate from your local county Environmental Health office.

Any of these cottage foods are eligible to be sold through direct marketing outlets, such as farmers markets, farm stands, and CSAs.

Some attempts to expand the list to include additional cottage foods allowed in other states have failed. Since CDPH consistently opposed this legislation, that is not surprising. If people submit foods for approval and receive denials, CAFF would be interested to hear from you. Email dave@caff.org 

David Runsten
Policy Director

Dave directs all of CAFF’s policy work as well as the food safety and water stewardship outreach. Dave is an agricultural economist who conducted research on such topics as contract agriculture in Mexico, fair trade coffee in Oaxaca, regional competitiveness of the produce industry, living wages in Los Angeles, and farm labor in California.

dave[at]caff.org    |    530.756.8518 x125

CAFF Legislative Representation, Sacramento
Justin Malan, Eco Consult

CAFF Legislative Representation, Washington DC
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

CAFF Policy Advisors
Stellman Keehnel, Esq., DLA Piper, Seattle
E. Phillip LeVeen, PhD, Berkeley