Here are the facts: 49 states have home cottage food laws that allow home-baking businesses. 49 states find it safe. 49 states have managed to address possible public safety concerns to allow residents to earn extra money or prepare for a larger-scale professional baking business at home prior to a bigger investment. FORTY-NINE STATES.
The New Jersey Home Bakers Association feels that anyone with the talent and drive to begin a home business should be allowed that right, and that consumers should have the freedom of choice to purchase baked goods from a home baker. We also believe in the safety of our products. Potentially non-hazardous baked goods are those which do not require initial refrigeration or further preparation; items like cookies, brownies, cakes, and bread, among others.
Food science shows that given proper preparation, the potential for contamination in these foods is rare to non- existent. In most areas of New Jersey, it is possible to donate these same baked goods or sell them for charitable purposes. We are left to wonder; aren’t these the same goods baked with the same ingredients in the same kitchen by the same baker? Why are these goods safe enough to donate, but not safe enough to sell for profit?
- The proposed rule change includes many of the things that were written into our previous legislative bills and in our lawsuit, such as:
- Producers will have a valid food handler manager’s certification from ServSafe or another approved certificate program
- Producers will label all products with ingredients, major allergens, address of production, and mark clearly that the goods were made in a home kitchen not subject to inspection
- Producers will agree to be subject to inspection upon complaint
- Producers will only conduct sales direct-to-consumer from home or in venues such as a farmer’s market or festival (no retail or online sales) and sales at such events will require a sign noting that the goods were made in a home kitchen
- A gross income cap of $50,000 annually
- The proposed rule change also includes new, but not unreasonable requirements, such as:
- Producers must apply for a cottage food production license, at a fee of $100, to be renewed every two years
- Producers must include with their application a copy of either a recent water test for private wells or municipal water bill, in addition to their food handler’s certificate
- Producers receiving a cottage food producer’s license must also include their license number on labels and placards/signs when conducting sales
- The text of the proposed rule change can be found here
- The proposed rule will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for review
- Once processed by OAL, a 60-day open public comment period will commence
- During this time, ANYONE (supporters and detractors) may comment on the proposal, so we must rally together and make our voices heard
- We will inform you all as soon as the comment period begins, so stay closely tuned!
- When the comment period closes, the OAL will consider all submissions and either agree to overturn the baking ban or leave the law as it stands
We will NOT be dropping the lawsuit at this time. We need to ensure that we are continuing to pursue every avenue available to us in our fight for cottage food laws. If the rule change occurs in a timely fashion, we will no longer need to persist with litigation. Our trial is still currently scheduled for May 18, 2020. We will keep you all informed if anything changes.
𝐓𝐇𝐀𝐍𝐊 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐀𝐋𝐋 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐏𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐄𝐍𝐂𝐄 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐔𝐍𝐖𝐀𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐁𝐄𝐋𝐈𝐄𝐅 𝐈𝐍 𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐂𝐀𝐔𝐒𝐄!!
Our expert report has been submitted to the state!
Click here to see what an acclaimed food microbiologist has to say about the safety of home-baked goods.