June 14, 2018

AB 626 Homemade Food Bill - A public food poisoning crisis waiting to happen.

California Politicians are at it again.   And this time they are placing public health in great jeopardy.

So what's going on?  Glad you asked.  You see, AB 626, titled the Homemade Food Act, is pending in the California legislature.  If passed, the bill would would amend California's health and safety code by defining “microenterprise home kitchen operations” as legitimate food facilities. Supporters of this bill are supporting it as a way to "decriminalize" (they're word, not mine!) home cooks and bakers who want to legally sell food to the public that is made in their residential kitchens.

As an avid home cook and baker, I have a big .... BIG ... problem with AB 626. Absolutely do not support it. And here's why.

There is simply too much... WAY to much ... public health risk associated with this misguided venture.  Consider the free church-sponsored Thanksgiving meal in nearby Antioch, California 2 years ago.  3 people died and 26 others were violently sickened from food poisoning, suspected to come from roast turkey and/or mashed potatoes that were prepared in private homes and brought to the event to be served.

Do we want a catastrophic state-wide outbreak of similar avoidable events?  We could very well have it if AB 626 passes.

How many of these home-based kitchen operators are aware of critical food preparation factors, such as proper hot and cold holding/cooking temperatures?   Get this:  The AB 626 would "exempt a microenterprise home kitchen operation from various provisions applicable to food facilities, including, among others, provisions relating to handwashing, sinks, ventilation, and animals." That's flat out wrong, with perhaps the exception to certain animals, and a threat to general public safety.  I mean, give me a break!  No handwashing regulations for home kitchen operations?!

Moreover, the bill does not define what the 'other' unnamed food facility safety provisions the microenterprise home kitchen operations would be exempted from.   Can you believe that?!  Guess the politicians just plan on defining 'other' at their leisure, after the bill becomes law.  How convenient. 

Oh, and the bill mentions no requirement of a bond or liability insurance.

A solution alread exists for this issue.  (I'm not going to call this issue a problem, because I do not think it is a problem.)  Solution?  Home cooks and bakers who want to sell their goods to the public can do so by renting shared commercial kitchen space for food preparation.

Another solution for a problem that doesn't exist.  And a disasterous solution at that, one which poses a great life safety risk to California's general public.

Say no to California's Homemade Food Bill, AB 626.

About Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides tax, insurance consulting, and expert witness services to clients who have technical or complex concerns.  For more information about Mary and her professional services visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

1 comment:

  1. No handwashing? Ewwwwwwwwwww thats gross!!


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