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CA might legalize selling home-cooked meals - is it creating new economic opportunities or creating a public health risk?

The California State Capitol in Sacramento.
The California State Capitol in Sacramento.
Mathieu Thouvenin (Flickr Creative Commons)

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California may soon become the first state to legalize and regulate home kitchen operations.

Assembly Bill 626 would allow individuals to sell homemade food as long as they have a permit, meet safety standards and keep their total sales below a certain threshold.

Many people already sell food from their kitchens, using Facebook and word-of-mouth to find new customers. Supporters say the bill would regulate those sales, as well as increase economic opportunities for women, immigrants and people of color. Opponents argue this could create unsafe health hazards, especially because kitchens won’t receive more than one inspection unless there is a complaint.

Do you buy or sell homemade food? Should the business become legal? Call us at 866-893-5722.


Brandi Mack, Oakland farmer and board member of C.O.O.K. Alliance, an advocacy group supporting AB 626, a bill that would make it legal to sell home-cooked meals in California; she is also the director of The Butterfly Movement

Christine Bruhn, food safety specialist emerita with the University of California, Davis; she is certified food scientist focused on consumer behavior; she has conducted multiple studies observing how people prepare food in their homes, including burgers, salads and chicken