Statesman Article on DSHS Proposed Cottage Food Rules

By Ciara O’Rourke

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Updated: 10:46 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012

Published: 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012

Should Texas bakers selling muffins out of their kitchens be required to label their goods, letting customers know that no health department has inspected the food?

In the last legislative session, lawmakers said yes, passing a bill that legalizes home bakeries and requires cottage food producers — folks who make and sell baked goods, canned jams and jellies and dried herbs from their homes — to label their product with a name, address and the disclaimer.

But should the aforementioned muffin also include a list of ingredients, heaviest to lightest, that’s at least a sixteenth of an inch and printed in permanent ink?

The proposed requirements are among a handful of changes that the Department of State Health Services unveiled late last year in an effort to implement the new food safety legislation, Senate Bill 81 . And some local food producers think the agency is going beyond the call of duty.

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