Tell Your Representative to Vote YES
Support Local Food Sales HB 177
House Bill 177 (HB 177), also known as the Homemade Food Act, has passed out of committee and is now before the full House; a vote could be taking place as early as later today.
HB 177 allows the minimally regulated sale of non-time-and-temperature controlled food direct from producer to consumer. The bill expands access to locally produced food by effectively taking care of several problems with New Mexico’s current cottage foods law. Under current law, producers can only sell at farmers markets and roadside stands; HB 177 will allow direct to consumer sales within the state “at farmers markets, at festivals, on the Internet, at roadside stands, at the seller’s home for pick-up or delivery or through mail delivery” as long as the seller completes a food handler course approved by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), meets basic requirements on labeling or providing information to the customer if there is a sale over the phone or Internet, maintains a sanitary kitchen, and transports food in a sanitary manner.
Producers currently wanting to sell homemade food at farmers markets have to get a permit from NMED in a burdensome process that requires pages of paperwork and can potentially require thousands of dollars in kitchen upgrades. Under HB 177, NMED cannot require that producers obtain a permit.
Finally, under current state law local governments have the power to ban the sale of cottage foods; sales of cottage foods are illegal in Albuquerque. The bill prohibits local governments from banning the sale of any homemade food allowed by the Act or restricting where they could be sold. However, the home rule areas of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County would have the choice to require a permit to sell these foods if they choose.
The bill represents a great opportunity to substantially improve New Mexico’s laws on homemade food sales.
ACTION TO TAKE Call and/or email your representative NOW and ask him or her to vote for YES on HB177. Go to Find My Legislator at www.nmlegis.gov to get your House Representative’s contact information or click here. The Legislative Switchboard phone number is 505-986-4300.
1. There is tremendous demand for locally produced food. Passage of HB 177 would increase access to these foods for state residents.
2. The bill would enable homemade food producers to make a better living, increasing sales with minimal regulation and expense.
3. There are 49 states with cottage food laws; reports of foodborne illness attributed to cottage food producers is almost nonexistent. Homemade foods have a great record for safety.
4. Passage of HB 177 will keep more of the food dollar in the community benefiting the state and local economy.
WAPF will issue updates on HB 177 as events warrant.
=== LINKS ===
House Bill 177 (HB 177) –https://nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=H&LegType=B&LegNo=177&year=21
Find My Legislator –https://nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator
New Mexico Representatives –https://nmlegis.gov/Publications/Handbook/House_Mailing_List.pdf🖨️ Print post