Updated cottage food law gives business owners more freedom

Cottage Food Laws

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - As of September 1, cottage food businesses in Texas will have fewer restrictions to worry about.

Governor Abbot recently signed Senate Bill 572 into law. The bill is an update to the Cottage Food Law in place since 2013.

“I figured the logical thing to do would be to call the health department and ask them to come and inspect my kitchen and make it all official,” said Kelley Masters, the owner of texascottagefoodlaw.com. “To my great disappointment, when I called the health department they said ‘no, no, no, we don’t do that, that’s illegal; you cant do that from your home kitchen.’”

That’s when Masters wrote to her state representative and they started working on the cottage food bill in 2009.

The original law was signed in 2011, an update came in 2013, and now the newest update takes effect in one month.

“This really removes a lot of restrictions that were seen as a little bit unreasonable and not really improving public health in any way,” said Masters.

The new law allows pickled and fermented foods, internet sales and more options regarding what can be sold.

“Any food — as long as you don’t have to keep it under time or temperature control to prevent it from spoiling — you are allowed to sell that food,” said Masters.

Trevor Stripling, the proprietor of Nothing Vanilla Cookies, in Tyler, says his motto is to “elevate cookies one crumb at a time” and with the updated law, he’ll be able to do so.

“A lot of people can’t afford a store front and they might just want to sell to friends and family or just to coworkers,” said Stripling. “Under these cottage baking laws, it basically protects you and your customers, so it’s a good way to go about things and I really appreciate them being in place.”

Stripling said the new law is a win for everyone.

“I don’t see a negative, honestly, unless people are operating outside of it and they get sued or something and then they blame like, ‘oh I could’ve been following this but I didn’t’,” said Stripling. “Otherwise there’s not really a negative. I think the rules are in place for a reason.”

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