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UPDATE: County to Require Permits for Sales of Homemade Foods

The Board of Supervisors will hold their first hearing today on regulating home-based chefs.

1/8 UPDATE: A public hearing will be held three weeks from today on a proposed ordinance to regulate home-based chefs who sell their goods to the public, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors decided today.

The board accepted, without comment, the initial draft of the ordinance setting parameters for so-called "cottage food" operations. Anyone who wishes to comment on the proposal will be welcome to during the supervisors' Jan. 29 meeting.

Cottage foods were placed on the state's list of public health concerns with the passage of Assembly Bill 1616, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in September. The statute mandates that counties establish standards for cottage food makers and require them to obtain permits.

Cottage foods generally include custards, meat fillings, candies, dried fruits, cereals, herbs, nuts, roasted coffees, dried teas and baked goods without cream, according to the county's Department of Environmental Health.

The agency drew up a proposed ordinance defining two classes of cottage food operators. Class "A" describes a home-based cook who engages in sales to an established clientele or at events, such as a temporary booth at a sports venue.

Class "B" describes as an operator who sells indirectly or directly to a "third-party retail food facility," according to environmental health documents.

County officials said that, under the ordinance, a class A operator would be exempt from inspections unless there are consumer complaints about products. However, class B operators would be subject to an initial inspection of their preparation areas -- kitchens -- as well as annual inspections.

Class A permits would cost $72.50 each; class B certificates would cost $290. Permits would have to be renewed annually.

All cottage food makers would be required to meet minimum basic food handling standards defined in the California Health and Safety Code. Regulations include keeping utensils and surfaces clean; keeping children or potentially contagious people out of the preparation area; frequent hand- washing and no smoking.

All operators would need to complete a food processor course within three months of registering with the county.

According to officials, cottage foods must be properly labeled, using the words "Made in a Home Kitchen" or other such language to be in compliance with the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Permit-holders who commit violations could face fines ranging from $100 to $500.

AB 1616 prohibits counties or cities from outlawing cottage food operations. Instead, the law stipulates that local governments must implement regulations related to zoning and food handling permits.

1/8 ORIGINAL POST: Riverside County supervisors will hold their first hearing today on a proposed ordinance regulating home-based chefs who sell their goods to the public.

So-called "cottage food" operations were placed on the state's list of public health concerns with the passage of Assembly Bill 1616, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in September. The statute mandates that counties establish standards for cottage food makers and require them to obtain permits.

Cottage foods generally include custards, meat fillings, candies, dried fruits, cereals, herbs, nuts, roasted coffees, dried teas, and baked goods without cream, according to the county's Department of Environmental Health.

The agency drew up a proposed ordinance defining two classes of cottage food operators. Class "A" describes a home-based cook who engages in sales to an established clientele or at events, such as a temporary booth at a sports venue.

Class "B" describes as an operator who sells indirectly or directly to a "third-party retail food facility," according to environmental health documents.

County officials said that, under the ordinance, a class A operator would be exempt from inspections unless there are consumer complaints about products. However, class B operators would be subject to an initial inspection of their preparation areas -- kitchens -- as well as annual inspections.

Class A permits would cost $72.50 each; class B certificates would cost $290. Permits would have to be renewed annually.

All cottage food makers would be required to meet minimum basic food handling standards defined in the California Health and Safety Code. Regulations include keeping utensils and surfaces clean; keeping children or potentially contagious people out of the preparation area; frequent hand- washing and no smoking.

All operators would need to complete a food processor course within three months of registering with the county.

According to officials, cottage foods must be properly labeled, using the words "Made in a Home Kitchen" or other such language to be in compliance with the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Permit-holders who commit violations could face fines ranging from $100 to $500.

AB 1616 prohibits counties or cities from outlawing cottage food operations. Instead, the law stipulates that local governments must implement regulations related to zoning and food handling permits.

If the Board of Supervisors approves the structure and provisions of the proposed ordinance, a public hearing will be scheduled in two weeks to hear any comments on the measure, after which a final vote will be taken.

-City News Service

One Voice January 08, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Does this include the street vendors that sell tacos in front of their stores and out of their driveways, or the ice cream carts that cruise the neighborhoods, or the carts on the public beach in LE that sell fruit, pork rinds, etc. There is also a Lady that drives around Elsinore in a van honking a bicycle horn out her window and sells some drink concoction out of the back of her van, what about these people?
Ken January 08, 2013 at 08:00 PM
She needs to keep the license plate light off because it scares the cockroaches and then they scatter thus you lose half the meat off your toco !
One Voice January 08, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Long Time, maybe she has a fleet now from her sales she was able to expand :)

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