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California law puts home cooks in the gig economy

Larry Buhl Aug 27, 2019
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Meghan McConaghy serves up tacos at her home in West Vale, California. She was one of the first people in the state to obtain a microenterprise home kitchen permit to sell her food.
Larry Buhl

A new California law lets cooks sell food from their home with a home kitchen permit. The allowance goes beyond typical items sold at farmers markets, permitting the sale of perishable food direct to customers, with a few exceptions: it has to be cooked and sold on the same day (and raw oysters are forbidden).

Although some opponents worry about exposing Californians to food-borne illness, supporters of the law say it could provide an economic boost to some households and bring culinary diversity to small communities. So far, only Riverside County has opted in. Other counties are expected to opt in soon.

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