Food News

Feared by Bakers, New Rules for Texas' Cottage Food Law Are One Step Closer to Becoming Law

City of Ate reported recently that the Texas Department of State Health Services had proposed new rules for the Cottage Food Law that passed last year, designed to make it easier for home bakers to peddle their deliciousness.

The law required DSHS to establish specific rules for the home-baker business. But many, including Representative Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), who filed the initial bill, feel the DSHS' new rules compromise the intent of the law, which cleared the way for home bakers to legally sell their goods.

After presenting the rules earlier this week to the House Committee on Public Health, which Kolkhorst chairs, the DSHS was asked to go back to council and rewrite the rules. But that's not what happened.

The DSHS instead filed the rules in the Texas Register, and now there will be a 30-day comment period before the rules are sent to the Health and Human Services Commissioner.

Kelley Masters started a baking business years ago and got shut down because it wasn't a legal operation. She worked tirelessly to see the Cottage Food Law pass. She's created a Facebook page under "Texas Baker's Bill." Everything you ever wanted to know, including what you can do now during the 30-day comment period, is there.

And while you're at it, send her a cake or pie. But be sure to list all of the ingredients by weight in descending order, including any food coloring, preservatives and information contained in the Food Allergen Labeling Act. Weigh the product and print all of this with non-erasable ink in 1/16 of an inch font. (Because if these rules pass, you'll have to get used to it. Your local baker or restaurant won't, but you will.)

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.