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NO PERMIT, NO PROBLEM! New Regulations on Selling Home-prepared Foods

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Marietta B. Pangan

Yes, you've heard it right, as of May 28, 2020, Albertans can now sell and enjoy locally prepared food made at home provided they are under the low-risk home-prepared foods category. Home food businesses can now augment financial constraints brought by CoVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

This change was again related to the government's response to the provincial effect of COVID-19 pandemic on Albertans.

According to the provincial Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro, "This regulatory change maintains our standards for food safety, supports Alberta entrepreneurs, adds new jobs and benefits the economy by giving Albertans new opportunities to buy locally produced foods. It also makes it easier than ever to turn your passion into a home business."

Therefore, The Public Health Act of Alberta on Food Regulation amended to reflect this new change. However, should Albertans want to continue preparing and selling high-risk home-prepared foods, they are still subject to compliance of both under appropriate food-handling permits and be subject to inspections to operate.

Another game-changer of this consideration, according to Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction, Grant Hunter, is that more and more Albertans are looking to buy local. Hunter also added, "Removing restrictions so Albertans can make low-risk foods in their home kitchens to sell to the public is a practical way to cut red tape and support home businesses while increasing Albertans' access to local food."

So what are considered low risks foods that don't require food handling permits and inspections? Low-risk foods do not require refrigeration e, such as baked goods, jams/jellies, candies, pickled foods, and cereals. In contrast, food items containing meat, poultry, seafood and raw milk are under High-risk foods and are still not permitted in-home setting preparations and selling.

Lastly, all home-prepared foods, which include those found at farmer's markets, must be clearly and appropriately labelled. The operators of food home-based businesses must continue to comply with the health and safety regulations as well as for consumers to make informed choices.

Visit the Alberta Government site links here for the new changes in the food regulation acts, food retail and food services codes.

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