There is still time, but two bills in the Illinois Assembly intended to ease regulations for the sale of homemade foods appear to have hit some speed bumps.
House Bill 1483, which would bar both the Illinois Department of Health and local health departments from regulating the sale of food at charitable fundraising events or farmers’ markets, was sent back to the Assembly Rules Committee on April 15.
Prior to that setback, the measure had been placed on the Assembly’s second reading calendar, and appeared to be ready for passage.
In the Senate, SB 0137, after clearing the Public Health Committee, has been on the body’s second reading calendar since March 1.
SB 0137 amends the state’s food-handling regulation enforcement act to provide for “cottage food operations.” The Illinois Senate bill would prevent the state Department of Public Health, the state Department of Agriculture and local health departments from regulating so-called cottage food operations so long as certain conditions are met.
The Senate bill defines cottage food operations as those producing or packaging non-potentially hazardous food in a kitchen that is located in a residence.
Non-potentially hazardous foods are those defined by federal regulation and include such items as baked goods, jams, jellies, fruit butters, candy, granola, granola bars, vinegar, dried herbs, and dry seasoning blends.
The proposed cottage foods law does not allow home kitchen production of such potentially hazardous foods as canned low-acid or acidified vegetables, canned salsa, cheese, garlic in oil, custard pies, or any food requiring temperature control for safety.
The proposed Illinois law would set a cap of $25,000 in gross sales for unregulated cottage industries. The food would have to be sold at farmers’ markets or community events and labeled to identify it as a homemade product.