Expanded cottage food bill advancing in Arizona Capitol

Expanded cottage food bill advancing in Arizona Capitol

The Arizona House Of Representatives is advancing House Bill 2042, much like a proposed law the governor vetoed last year.

H B 2042, concerning the preparation and sale of so-called cottage food, is sponsored by State Rep. Travis Grantham, R-Gilbert. It is now a House Engrossed bill that expands the foods that meet an exemption for cottage food products so long as requirements are met. Among other things, the law would make homemade and certain other foods exempt from state licensing and inspection

Arizona began the 2nd Regular Session of the 56th Legislature on Jan. 8. Action on H B 2042 is turning to the State Senate with an adjournment scheduled for April 20.

The bill calls for the Director of the Department of Health Services (DHS) to adopt rules for overseeing cottage food and drinks sold at retail, including standards for producing, labeling, serving, and transporting food products. 

State laws and rules would also prescribe requirements for food preparers, including training courses, certification, and registration with an online DHS registry. Rules prescribe sanitary conditions for warehouses, restaurants, and other premises, including trucks or vehicles where food or drink is produced, stored, served, or transported.

It exempts food and drink served at noncommercial social events such as potlucks, home cooking schools, and cottage food products. Cottage food products prepared in a home kitchen may be offered for commercial sale only if the products are not potentially hazardous and do not require time and temperature control for food safety, among other things.

Approved cottage food products will include cakes, cookies, breads, jams, and jellies from allowable fruits. Potentially hazardous foods fall under retail food regulatory oversight, which requires the products to be prepared in a licensed commercial kitchen. 

Federal law and regulations require inspection of poultry, poultry products, meat, and meat products but exempt products from producers that slaughter fewer than 1,000 poultry in a calendar year and operations conducted at retail stores and restaurants if requirements are met.

A similar bill, HB 2509, was introduced in the 56th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, and was vetoed by the governor. It also addressed the preparation and sale of cottage food.

This year’s bill:

1. Expands the foods that meet the cottage food product exemption to those potentially hazardous or require time or temperature control for safety if exempt under federal regulations.

2. Authorizes the sale of cottage food products that meet federal regulations, including:

a) poultry, poultry byproducts, or food products if the producer raised poultry under the 1,000-bird exemption; and

b) poultry, poultry byproducts or food products and meat, meat byproducts, and food products from an inspected source under federal law. 

3. Specifies that alcoholic beverages or foods that contain the product, unpasteurized milk, fish, meat, and poultry and their byproducts do not meet the definition of cottage food product unless the sale is allowed by federal law as specified above. 

4. Home kitchen means either a) a residential home kitchen with 1,000 square feet or less or b) a kitchen in a facility for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

5. Stipulates that potentially hazardous means a cottage food product does not meet the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements. 

6. Defines a third-party food delivery platform as an online business that acts as an intermediary between consumers and food facilities to submit food orders by a consumer to a participating food facility and to arrange for order delivery. 

7. Places current law requiring labels, list of ingredients, registration number of food preparer, pertinent statement regarding allergens, and other disclosure information in a separate article titled Cottage Food Products. 

8. The label is required to be clear and legible and to include a webpage address provided by DHS for the consumer to report foodborne illness and verity registration status. 

9. Outlines notification requirements for online sales of cottage food products. 

10. Prohibits the food preparer from storing food or the associated preparation equipment outside the home. 

11. Requires cottage food products that do not contain dairy, meat, or poultry to be sold and delivered to the consumer by the food preparer or agent, including a third-party vendor or carrier. 

12. Requires cottage food products that are dairy or that contain meat or poultry to be sold by the preparer in person or remotely, including over the internet and delivered to the consumer in person. 

13. Requires cottage food products that are potentially hazardous or require time or temperature control for safety to be maintained at the appropriate temperature when transported, but not more than once or longer than two hours. 

14. Requires third-party vendors to sell cottage food products in a separate section of the store or display case with a sign that indicates the product is homemade and exempt from state licensing and inspection. 

15. States that a cottage food product may not be used as an ingredient in food sold at retail or include marijuana or its by-products. 

16. Stipulates that a home kitchen cannot be used as a commissary for purposes of a mobile food vendor. 

17. Declares the provisions are no more restrictive than pertinent federal laws. 

18. Specifies that the requirements do not: a) impede DHS from investigating foodborne illness; b) change the requirements for brand inspections, animal health inspections, or food inspections required by state or federal law;  c) change the requirements for the sale of milk, milk products, raw milk or raw milk products; or d) affect any county or municipal building or zoning code or ordinance. 

19. Provide direction to DHS for rule-making, including recertification requirements and enforcement guidelines. 

20. States that a county is not required to enforce the provisions. 

21. Declares the provisions do not prevent DHS and local health, public health services, or environmental agencies from entering into a delegation agreement for enforcement purposes.

22. And makes technical and conforming changes. 

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