Legislature advances new standards for home bakers and cottage food operators selling products in N.J.
TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Edward Thomson’s bill establishing health standards and other requirements for home bakers and cottage food operators who sell their cakes, candy, jams and more in New Jersey passed the Legislature on Monday.
The bill (A4580/S73) requires residents selling their homemade food products to obtain a permit from the state Health Department, register as a business in their hometown, and label their products with allergen and other information. They are also subject to kitchen inspections by local health authorities and cannot sell food that could be contaminated by the growth of bacteria.
“Commonsense health and safety standards protect consumers and entrepreneurs selling food out of their home,” Thomson (R-Monmouth) said. “It allows home bakers to earn additional income and fulfill their passions while also making sure buyers are fully aware of the ingredients and preparation facilities.”
Under the bill, permit holders cannot exceed $50,000 in annual sales; however, there is no limit to the number of shelf-stable products they can sell. Examples of popular cottage food products include breads, fruit pies, chocolate-covered nuts, dried herbs and seasonings, dried pasta, granola, nut butters, and popcorn. Bakers and cottage food operators would only be allowed to sell from New Jersey locations including their home, a consumer’s home, a farmers’ market or food stand, or a temporary retail food establishment.
If signed by the governor, the bill would take effect after seven months.