(From Press Release) – Local home cook collective Foodnome received a warning to cease operations by the Yolo County Environmental Health Department on Wednesday, May 8th. The group has been organizing private dinners and free food events to demonstrate community support for California’s Homemade Food Operations Act (AB 626).
AB 626 created the infrastructure for county health departments to permit home kitchens for public food sales. Foodnome has gathered more than 100 cooks in the Yolo and Sacramento region who are actively seeking these permits in hopes of being able to start legal food businesses from their homes.
The health department’s warning comes as a response to Foodnome’s events–specifically a free mobile quesadilla event, where quesadillas were given out around Davis on Picnic Day to raise awareness about the potential benefits of AB 626 in Yolo County. The warning specifies that the health department will seek enforcement for future home cooked food events, and that Yolo County has “no plans to opt into permitting microenterprise home kitchen operations.”
On the same day of this warning, Riverside County adopted AB 626 and committed to issue cooks’ permits as early as June. Home cooking advocates argue that Yolo and Sacramento counties can easily follow Riverside’s lead and legitimize the businesses of hundreds of cooks throughout the region.
Community organizer and Foodnome founder Akshay Prabhu hopes that this warning can fuel a discussion about the opportunities this law offers. “Many talented cooks are not able to share their food with their community due to financial barriers. We deserve a more inclusive food system.”
Home cooks will be coming together for a rally in support of AB 626 at the Davis Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:30pm.