Chances are at some time you have purchased baked goods prepared in a home kitchen. Did you know that is illegal in Idaho? Idaho law requires food sold to the public to be prepared in a commercial kitchen that is regularly inspected and licensed by the health department. Commercial kitchens are expensive to install and must be in a locked area away from the home kitchen.
A bill was introduced in the 2015 Legislative session to exempt certain low-acid foods, such as cakes, pies, cookies and breads, from the requirement to be prepared in a commercial kitchen. The bill initially made it through committee and was read on the floor of the House of Representatives, but was sent back to the committee, where it died.
The reason for requiring food to be prepared in a commercial kitchen is safety. There is little or no control over the cleanliness of a home kitchen and bacteria, insect or rodent residue and other issues may occur. Bottom line – buyer beware. There will always be people baking at home and selling their goods. If you are comfortable with the level of cleanliness in the home and kitchen, the choice to purchase is up to you. Update: Idaho now has a cottage food law.