Following news reports of an 11-year-old girl in Troy who had her home-based cupcake business shut down by the Madison County Health Department, State Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) has begun drafting legislation that would allow "limited" home baking for both charity organizations and "limited" home sale.
“While the idea for this may have been started because of a little girl in Troy, her situation did shed some light onto a bigger issue negatively impacting charity groups and their ability to raise funds. This legislation will allow for groups to hold bake sales without any fear of the health department shutting them down,” Rep. Meier said.
Meier's bill does not attempt to overturn the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act, or address the larger issue of personal freedom. Instead, his legislation simply adjusts or amends the government act to say that neither the Department of Public Health nor health department of a unit of local government may regulate the service of food by a “home kitchen operation”.
In this case Rep. Meier defines “home kitchen operation” as a "person who produces or packages non-potentially hazardous food in a kitchen of that person’s primary domestic residence for direct sale by the owner or a family member or for the sale by a religious, charitable, or nonprofit organization, stored in the residence where the food is made."
In order to qualify as a “home kitchen operation”, Illinois citizens must meet the following conditions:
- Monthly gross sales do not exceed $1,000.
- The food is not a potentially hazardous baked food.
- A notice is provided to the purchaser that the product was produced in a home kitchen.
“This bill will allow Chloe Stirling and her business Hey Cupcake! to continue making cupcakes in a limited capacity. It will also allow churches and other charities to hold bake sales and be within the law. We don’t want the government to be so huge and oppressive that it hurts people more than it helps,” Rep. Meier said.