Utah has loosened restrictions on residents who make and sell food directly from their home with the Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act that was put into effect this week.
Home food preparation and sales
Many Utahns look for ways they can make money from the comfort of their own homes. Some do this through online work, phone sales, and even childcare or pet sitting. Others choose to use their talent in the kitchen to make some extra cash. Within a single week, one local online yard sale page produced several home grown chefs selling privately made food items such as pupusas, tamales, jams and jellies, baby food, desserts and even full meals meant for busy families. Unfortunately, sale of these items that are typically surging in popularity with other members on those yard sale sites are often shut down due to lack of licensing and inspections of the kitchen areas used to create the homemade meals. H.B. 181 that was put into effect this week protects those smaller home producers who don’t want to jump through the same hoops larger businesses do.
How to qualify for exemption from regulation
While home producers are being given more freedom to cook and share, there are still rules that must be followed to protect consumers. H.B. 181 states: “ A producer is exempt from state, county, or city licensing, permitting, certification, inspection, packaging, and labeling requirements, except as described in this section, related to the preparation, serving, use, consumption, or storage of food and food products if:
a) the producer complies with the requirements of this chapter; and
b) The homemade food or homemade food product is:
i. produced and sold within the state;
ii. sold directly to an informed final consumer;
iii. for home consumption; and
iv. not exempted under Subsection 4-5a-105 [raw dairy, meat products, poultry products from producers that slaughter more than 1,000 birds annually]”
The bill goes on to explain how just as smaller farmers must alert consumers of the lack of regulation, “food or food products sold under this section shall be labeled with:
(a) the producer’s name and address;
(b) a disclosure statement indicating that the product is:
(i) nor for resale; and
(ii) processed and prepared without state or local inspection; and
(c) a statement listing whether the food or food product contains, or was prepared in a location that also handles common allergens including milk, soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts or tree nuts, fish or shellfish.”
Home consumption only
S.B, 181 warns home producers that the homemade food sold is “not to be sold to or used by, a restaurant or commercial establishment [unless the item being sold is] a raw, unprocessed fruit or vegetable”. Additionally, if the unregulated food is taken to a farmers market, it must be accompanied by proper signage informing potential consumers “that the homemade food and food products sold by producers at the market have not been certified, licensed, regulated, or inspected by state or local authorities”. If some of their food is regulated and some isn’t, separation and distinction informing consumers of the regulations differences between two or more different items is needed.
Food safety and education still suggested
Although any individual who follows the Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act can sell the food they produce, it is still recommended for home producers to have knowledge regarding proper food preparation and safety to reduce food borne illnesses such as E. Coli and Salmonella. A food Handler Permit issued by the Utah Department of Health can be obtained after attending a simple class and paying a small fee. For more information on obtaining a food handler permit prior to producing food from home, contact Utah Department of Health at 1-888-538-6191.