New Jersey is no longer the only state that prohibits selling home-baked goods for profit. On Monday, October 4th, The state Department of Health ruled that bakers can now legally sell their homemade sweets out of their kitchen.
Under the “Cottage Food Operator Permit,” New Jerseyians no longer need to operate out of a commercial kitchen. As stated in the permit, there are limits to what can be sold – among the products approved by the state are bread, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pastries, candy, dried fruit, dried pasta, jams and jellies, fruit pies, fudge, granola, popcorn/caramel corn, roasted coffee, and herbs. State permission is needed to make additional items.
NJ.com reported that the New Jersey Home Bakers Association and the Institute for Justice challenged the rule in court on constitutional grounds, arguing that residents should have the right to make extra money selling home-baked goods if they wanted to.
The private bakers must label their products with a list of ingredients and a notice that the food was prepared in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the state. Baked goods can be sold from home, or at events. Online advertising will also be permitted.
Listed in the New Jersey Register will be the application for a cottage food business license which must be renewed every two years and costs $100. Residents cannot exceed $50,000 in annual income from baked goods sales, according to the newly issued regulations. Prior to the new ruling, residents who sold homemade baked goods without approval were subject to cease-and-desist orders and fines of as much as $1,000.
A commenter in the proceedings stated, “New Jersey stands alone as the only state with no manner of cottage food law, a glaring display of lack of faith in New Jersey home bakers to uphold the standards of food safety and best business practices. And yet, home bakers are permitted, in most [New Jersey] municipalities, to donate or sell baked goods for charitable purposes. The same [illegal] baked goods they might sell for profit –made in the same kitchen, with the same ingredients, by the same baker –become legal when the money goes to anyone other than the baker. It doesn’t seem fair when it’s laid out like that, does it?”
“The door is now open for bakers to be compensated for their talents just as any other professional is paid for their time and services,” said Mandy Coriston of Newton, a member of the New Jersey Home Bakers Association. “More importantly, it offers consumers a new freedom of choice in where they source their baked goods, and allows bakers across every walk of life to work in the place they feel most comfortable—their homes.”
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