Home Made Foods Bill Eliminates Licensing for Cheese

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill allowing the sale of  unlicensed “homestead” food and on-farm sales of raw milk. New Hampshire currently allows the sale of non-potentially hazardous foods from licensed home kitchens; HB 1402 seeks to eliminate license requirements. From NHPR, an examination of both sides of the issue:

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make it easier for the smallest farmers to break even. If it becomes law it would allow residents to sell some home-made baked-goods, preserves, and cheese at home or at farmers’ markets.

When the homemade foods bill came out of a House committee, it had unanimous support.

It sits in a political sweet spot: both Democrats who want to support local foods and Republicans who want smaller government like the idea of deregulating small farmers.

It lets people sell less than $10,000 a year in home-made food and produce less than twenty pounds a day of hard cheese, without a license.

The bill was modified before being sent to the house floor to say unlicensed cheeses must be labeled as such, and they must be aged 60-days before selling…

Barnstead Republican Guy Comtois, the bill’s sponsor, says it’s aimed at giving new farmers a running start before they have to pay for a license.

“It’s tough to start off at 100 miles an hour,” Comtois says, “so it does not do away with licensing, it just gives somebody that’s coming out of the gate the chance to find out is this going to be doable or am I just gonna stay with the 20 gallons a day.” Read more…

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