Zwicker and McKnight Bill to Lift Ban on Selling Home Baked Goods Authorize Legislative Assembly and Head to Governor
(TRENTON) – New Jersey is the only state in the country that does not allow the sale of cooked foods outside of commercial kitchens. Legislation (A-4580) allowing the sale of home baked goods was approved by the Legislative Assembly on Monday, with Assembly approval, 79-0 and Senate approval, 39-0.
“Home-based businesses are growing, thriving, and even more convenient right now for residents at home. The only group not currently participating in this industry are home bakers. New Jersey is the only state in the country that continues to ban the sale of home baked goods. Similar bans in Wisconsin and Minnesota have been rolled back in recent years,” said MP Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon). “Now is the time to allow our residents who want to start a business or earn a little extra money with their homemade products to become certified food handlers and register with the Ministry of Health. Let them cook!”
The invoice (A-4580/S-73) establishes requirements for the sale of home baked goods that do not require additional cooking or refrigeration for food safety and are not “potentially hazardous foods”. Baked goods may only be sold or offered for sale at a baker’s home, a consumer’s home, a farmer’s market, a farm stand or at a fair, festival or a county, municipal or non-profit event; the bill prohibits selling or offering for sale home baked goods over the Internet, wholesale or to a commercial retailer for resale.
“Many popular bakery businesses have been started in the home kitchen and discovered at bake sales,” said Rep. Angela McKnight (D-Hudson). “It’s an outdated rule that has no place in these times of creative entrepreneurship, where many are building businesses and working from home. A lot has changed when it comes to proper kitchen equipment and safe food preparation at home. A baker should be able to sell and market their homemade products like others with home businesses.
The gross income generated by the home baker from the sale of baked goods cannot exceed $50,000 per year. The home baker and anyone assisting the home baker must have a valid Department of Health (DOH) food handler certificate, which must be displayed at the point of sale.
Finally, the bill requires that the labeling of potential food allergens as well as the baker’s certification number be visible on all products offered for sale.
The ban on homemade pastries is currently disputed in state courts in a 2017 lawsuit filed by the New Jersey Home Bakers Association that claims the ban unreasonably limits their members’ ability to generate additional income from their baked goods .
The measure will now go to the governor for further consideration.
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