Proposed Home Baker Rules are Half-Baked

An outrageous story from my state of Texas, which normally touts itself

as being business-friendly: The state’s Cottage Food Law requires home bakers

who sell their products to label their goods with name, address and a statement that the products were made in a kitchen not inspected by health authorities (obviously). But now the state’s health department wants to go a step further in requiring that these labels list the ingredients of said baked good, in order of weight, and to disclose potential allergens. Home bakers say these rules are more stringent than those required of bake shops. The health department simply wants to avoid consumers being exposed to food allergens, but this is an example of overkill. Many bakers cite the cost and complications of compliance.

When I think back to the many times I have bought food at bake sales, I cannot recall one instance where I or somebody I knew got sick from a neighbor’s lemon coffee cake, fudge brownies or a professional-quality wedding cake. There is no doubt that food allergies are serious business, but it would seem that the easiest solution would be for consumers who are concerned about allergens to simply not buy home-baked goods.

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