What is AB 626?
AB 626 creates a low cost and accessible way for independent cooks to start a small cooking business from home, selling any type of food (with a few exceptions):
Legalizing small-scale home food operations: Microenterprise home kitchens will be allowed to sell up to $50,000 per year— these new operations are intended for incubators or ancillary income, not a substitute for commercial-scale operations.
Ensuring health and safety standards: A home food operation must be inspected by and registered with the local enforcement agency and follow a set of health, training, and sanitation standards just like any other food facility.
Cooks must serve food directly to end customers, not through a retailer, wholesaler, or delivery company/app. Any 3rd parties providing online marketing or sales tools for cooks must abide by fee transparency and complaint reporting requirements.
If AB 626 becomes law, it will be the first of its kind in the United States and will create massive economic opportunities for cooks across California.
For more information:
History of the Bill
Supporters have added over 50,000 signatures to a petition calling for home cooked food legalization and sent over 2,000 calls and letters to their local representatives.
AB 626 passed out of Appropriations Committee and then passed out of the Assembly on January 29th with overwhelming bipartisan support: 66 ayes, 1 nos, 10 abstains.
AB 626 passed the California Health Committee with bi-partisan support earning 12 "yes" votes and 0 "no" votes. Unfortunately, the bill was subsequently held in Appropriations Committee, becoming a 2-year bill.
AB 626 is introduced in the California State Assembly on February 14, 2017 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. Garcia represents an immigrant-heavy district and understands that homemade food sales are an important lever of economic empowerment, particularly in vulnerable communities.
AB 2593 is pulled due to opposition from the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (CCDEH). However, because of the existing informal food economy, CCDEH agrees to collaborate towards 2017 legislation.
Coalition members work with Assemblymember Cheryl Brown to introduce AB 2593 in 2016— which would have allowed small home dinner sales without a permit.
After exhausting local policy options, Josephine forms a coalition with other food and labor justice groups to work toward California state legislation.
Home cooking startup Josephine is founded by these advocates to help existing informal food sellers do their work safely and and with more accountability.
Home cooks and labor justice advocates in Oakland, CA first begin working on legal options to promote home cooking.