Officials from the Department of Health and Welfare’s Food Protection Program are very interested in hearing about what you think about the regulation of cottage foods, or those that are made in a personal kitchen and then given away or sold. Typically cottage foods include breads, cakes, cookies, fruit jams, candies, dried fruits and fruit pies. Currently, Idaho does not regulate cottage food producers.
Public meetings began today in Coeur d’Alene and will continue throughout the state until the middle of May. A schedule is below. Don’t miss them when they’re in your area! The second set of public meetings is being held to gather input about Idaho’s Food Code, which governs safety standards in retail food establishments in Idaho. The current regulations were enacted in 2005 and are being updated. More information on those updates will be presented at the meetings.
In the meantime, the Coeur d’Alene Press has published a story about how potential regulation could affect people whose hobbies include making foods for friends and neighbors to earn a little extra income. This perspective is a little different than the one presented in the Legislature, when lawmakers heard from people who want regulation so they can sell their foods at farmer’s markets.
If you are a cottage food producer, we need to hear from you so the policy that’s right for Idahoans moves forward.