OAKLEY -- City officials here this week agreed to change an ordinance so that small business owners can make and sell certain homemade foods.

Until now Oakley's Municipal Code has prohibited the practice, but a new state law gives local government agencies the authority to issue permits to so-called "cottage food operations."

As such, Oakley City Council voted Tuesday to open the door to entrepreneurs who want to set up small-scale, food-related enterprises at home.

Products must be on the list that the state Department of Public Health has approved, food that doesn't require refrigeration such as honey, dried fruit, jam and cereals.

Before the California Homemade Food Act took effect Jan. 1, business owners who wanted to produce food for public consumption had to do it at facility such as a processing plant or commercial kitchen that had a governmental stamp of approval, said Justin Malan, executive director of California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health.

Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.



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