New law puts lid on homemade goodies

New law puts lid on homemade goodies

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Customers shopping at farmer's markets are accustomed to finding homemade jams, jellies, and breads, right next to produce. Starting in September, that may become a thing of the past.

Carol Dormady brings out her artisan bread. As the name implies it's a craft. Carol learned breadmaking from her mother. Someday she'll teach her daughter, Helen.

What Dormady doesn't give away, she sells. The farmer's market is her favorite venue. However, after September 1, all homemade goodies, including fresh jams and jellies, will not be allowed at farmers markets.

"At the last minute there was little change to the bill and they took out the word 'farmer's market,' so you could no longer sell from a farmer's market," Dormady said.

In addition, home bakers and canners won't be able to resale to restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops or online. The only legal place to share a homemade product is from the home.

"If the notion is people are going to get sick, that's the risk you take anywhere," said Brenda Morgan, who sells homemade canned goods. "If you go out to eat in a restaurant, you can also get sick, but they don't close the restaurant down."

The law does allow door-to-door deliveries, something Dormady does each week.

And there are loop holes. Call it a bake sale, give a portion of the proceeds to charity and you're legal.

Diann Avriett stays legal by maintaining a commercial kitchen license. Even so, she feels bad for her fellow market vendors.

"Yes, most of these small farms are out in remote areas that people from the urban areas are not going to drive to, so they're not going to have that many sales anyway," Avriett said.

Which hurts the farmer and the customers who love homemade goodness.

Under the new law, any cottage food must be labeled that it wasn't prepared in a licensed kitchen.

Health departments will not be allowed to inspect home kitchens, but inspectors will maintain a record of complaints on any cottage.

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