Assembly Offers Unanimous Stamp of Approval for Garcia’s Homemade Food Operations Act

Bipartisan Support Sends AB 626 to the Senate

(SACRAMENTO, CA) — Today, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) AB 626 received unanimous, bipartisan approval on the Assembly floor and will now advance on to the Senate.

Assemblymember Garcia’s legislation establishes a framework to expand micro-enterprise opportunities for producers while protecting the health of consumers. Home food operations will be required to comply with food handling rules, including training for cooks, and limits on the number of meals or people served.

“AB 626 improves public health safeguards around the existing informal food sales economy. This bill will not impose new regulations but rather provide counties the option to adopt a permitting process; bringing home cooks currently excluded from our state’s stringent cottage food laws, out of the shadows,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.

“We believe home cooking builds healthy, resilient communities and creates economic opportunities for the people that need them most. This has been a 3 year policy effort involving hundreds of organizations and individuals across California, so we are hopeful that AB 626 will continue with bipartisan support through the Senate. We are ready to help thousands of stay-at-home parents, immigrants, and other entrepreneurs start incubating small businesses and sharing home cooked food with their communities!” exclaimed Matt Jorgensen, coordinator for C.O.O.K. Alliance, a coalition  of home cooking supporters formed to organize the nonprofits, individuals, and companies who have come out in support of more inclusive food permitting laws.

“California is now a step closer to building a more inclusive food system. Legitimizing these home businesses will stimulate an important lever of economic empowerment for immigrant, minority, and other vulnerable populations while creating healthy, self-reliant communities statewide. AB 626 will help propel us into the new frontier and the future of food enterprise,” Assemblymember Garcia concluded.