In Louisiana, I legally cannot sell a loaf of bread baked in my home kitchen, even if you are willing to buy it from me. In fact, most foods produced in home kitchens are prohibited by law for sale to the public–with a few notable exceptions like cakes and cookies, which were legalized in 2013. But change might be just around the corner…..Louisiana might finally join the 25+ states allowing home-cook-entrepreneurs to sell their goods without onerous government intrusion.
At present, the Louisiana Legislature is considering a bill that would expand the legal definition of “cottage food”, meaning foods produced in a home kitchen for sale to the public. Existing Louisiana law (amended most recently in 2013) allows for home-kitchen production & sale of a few select items: cakes, cookies, jams, and jellies. Representative Scott Simon of Abita Springs has proposed House Bill 775, which enlarges the items allowed to include “low-risk foods” (baked goods, including breads, cakes, cookies, and pies; candies; dried mixes; honey & honeycomb products; jams, jellies, and preserves, pickles and acidified foods; sauces & syrups; and spices).
The bill as originally filed contained some rather restrictive provisions and vague inspection requirements; it has been revised, and I’m happy to support it in its present form (see the current text here). HB 775 has left the Health & Welfare committee and is awaiting floor action. SO, now is the time to call and email your Louisiana representatives if you support micro-food entrepreneurs. See the full list of Louisiana House of Representatives’ members here, with contact information.
Read more about the proposed cottage food bill at NOLA.com.