HB 1926 (click to read full text), the Texas Homemade Food Bill, has been filed by State Representative Eddie Rodriguez, a longtime supporter of local food producers.
HB 1926 would create an intermediate step in between the current cottage food law and a full scale commercial kitchen. Home producers who are limited by the cottage food law would be able to opt to become a "Home Processor", which would allow them to sell more types of foods at more locations. Some highlights of the bill include:
- Does not affect existing cottage food law.
- Is an optional step between “cottage foods” and a licensed food establishment.
- Allows more types of food to be sold. Some examples are: potentially hazardous baked goods like cheesecake, all non-potentially hazardous foods, fermented products, and acidified or low acid canned goods that do not contain meat.
- Allows wholesale, mail order, and internet sales within Texas.
- Allows sales at any location in Texas.
- Requires registration, an annual fee, and inspections.
- Has health and safety rules such as no pets in the kitchen, a separate refrigerator, and more.
How To Help
Support HB 1926 by calling your State Representative and telling them! If you don't know who represents you, you can enter your address at this link and find out: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
You want to call your State Representative - the number will start with (512) 463-XXXX. Do not not call your US Congressman or US Senator.
Simply say, "Hi, my name is ____. I am a constituent and I support HB 1926, the Texas Homemade Food Bill." You can add a short statement about why it is important, if you wish. The person answering the phone may take your name, address, or phone number to confirm that you are a constituent. Do not be afraid of this call. It takes one minute and the person answering the phone will be extremely courteous to you.
Getting Out of Committee
A similar bill was filed in 2015, but died without ever even receiving a committee hearing. In order for a bill to become law, the first step is a committee hearing. The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Public Health. If you live in the district of the Chair or members, your support is critical. Please call your Representative today. It is as easy as saying, "Hi, my name is ____, I am a constitutent of Representative ____. I support HB 1926, which is the Texas Homemade Food Bill, and I would like for it to be given a hearing in Public Health as soon as possible." You can add a short statement of why the bill is important to you, if you wish. The person who answers the phone will likely ask for your name and phone number or address, to confirm that you live in their district.
Above all, don't be scared to make this call! It takes one minute, literally, and it makes the difference between the bill living and dying. The staff member who answers the phone should be extremely courteous and helpful to you, since you elected their boss into office.
Below is a list of the members, the cities they represent, and their office phone numbers.
Chair - "Four" Price, Amarillo (512) 463-0470
Vice Chair - J.D. Sheffield, Gatesville (512) 463-0628
Diana Arévalo, San Antonio (512) 463-0616
Cindy Burkett, Garland (512) 463-0464
Garnet Coleman, Houston (512) 463-0524
Nicole Collier, Fort Worth (512) 463-0716
Philip Cortez, San Antonio (512) 463-0269
Bobby Guerra, McAllen (512) 463-0578
Stephanie Klick, North Richland Hills (512) 463-0599
Tom Oliverson, Tomball (512) 463-0661
Bill Zedler, Arlington (512) 463-0374