This is a Summary of VICFA’s 2019 Legislative Session efforts in the General Assembly, Richmond, VA
House Bill 1785
Chief Patron: Delegate Matt Fariss 59th District
Co- Patrons: Sen. Creigh Deeds, Del.Rob Bell, & Del. Nick Freitas
A bill to increase the range of foods included in the home kitchen inspection exemption.
Why is a bill like HB 1785 necessary???
VICFA has made progress over the years to increase the range of foods people are allowed to make in their homes and sell directly to their neighbors without having to open their homes to state inspections.
(There are links at the bottom of this page to the law as it exists today, and FAQ information from VDACS.)
However, there are still too many restrictions on direct sales, so VICFA this year was seeking to get Section 3.2-5130 of the Code of Virginia amended by a bill that would have:
1) Increased the $3000 sales limit on pickle sales to $4000. Since home-made pickle sales were made legal in 2013 there have been no issues. Opponents labelled pickles as “potentially hazardous”, and the cost of living as well as ingredients has gone up, so we feel the limit should be raised.
2) Allowed the sale of a wider variety of baked goods, not just those that do not require “time and temperature control after preparation”. This concession had to be made for the original “kitchen bill” to pass.
The amended HB1785 would have allowed direct uninspected producer to consumer sales of baked goods such as macaroni cheese pie, quiche, pumpkin pie, plus chicken pot pies and other poultry products.
3) Added homemade yogurt to the list of products exempt from state inspection. Yogurt is a nutritionally dense food that enhances the variety of beneficial bacteria in the gut and hence, the immune system. There is not one case of sickness from homemade yogurt in the USA on the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/outbreaks/multistate-outbreaks/outbreaks-list.html
So, what happened?
HB 1785 Mon 14 Jan, 2019. 4.30pm
After two testimonies in support of the bill from VICFA President Anne Buteau and VICFA Board Member Dan Lefever and many testimonies in opposition from Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Dairymens Association, the Virginia Farm Bureau and others, language was struck, language was changed, and the Subcommittee “recommended reporting with substitute”. The vote was Yea-5 Nay-3. This means HB 1785 went onwards to the full committee.
HB 1785 : Wed 16 Jan, 2019. 9am.
HB 1785 “failed to report” from the House Agriculture Committee Y-5 N-17. VICFA President Anne Buteau spoke to the amendment, but Food Freedom supporters did not show up to support this bill and it failed to pass. Bills will not pass unless the room is full of people supporting a bill.
Click here to see how delegates voted in full committee: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+vot+H01V0005+HB1785
The link below takes you to the Legislative Information Services website where you can read the history of HB1785, including language and votes.
Go to our facebook page and scroll down for the video, summary, and discussion:
Get some neighbors together this summer to meet with your delegate and ask them to sponsor a bill next year, especially if they are on the House Agriculture Committee.
To find your elected officials go to https://www.virginia.gov/services/whos-my-legislator/
House Agriculture Committee:
Delegate District Phone
Marshall, Daniel W., III (Chair) 14th 804 698 1014
Poindexter, Charles D. (Vice Chair) 9th 804 698 1009
Ware, R. Lee 65th 804 698 1065
Wright, Thomas C., Jr. 61st 804 698 1061
Orrock, Robert D., Sr. 54th 804 698 1054
Knight, Barry D. 81st 804 698 1081
Edmunds, James E., II 60th 804 698 1060
Wilt, Tony O. 26th 804 698 1026
Morefield, James W. (Will) 3rd 804 698 1003
Ransone, Margaret B. 99th 804 698 1099
Fariss, C. Matthew 59th 804 698 1059
Bloxom, Robert S., Jr. 100th 804 698 1000
Plum, Kenneth R. 36th 804 698 1036
Bulova, David L. 37th 804 698 1037
James, Matthew 80th 804 698 1080
Keam, Mark L. 35th 804 698 1035
Lopez, Alfonso H. 49th 804 698 1049
Sullivan, Richard C. (Rip), Jr. 48th 804 698 1048
Adams, Dawn M. 68th 804 698 1068
Gooditis, Gwendolyn W. 10th 804 698 1010
Rodman, Debra H. 73rd 804 698 1073
Herring, Charniele L. 46th 804 698 1046
The first challenge for a food freedom type bill is to get it through the House Agriculture Sub Committee #1. If you are a constituent of a member of this committee, your call is vital. They only really care about calls from constituents. Most food freedom bills “die” there…. ie the majority of the committee votes “NAY” and they go no further. The committees usually only change after an election.
House Agriculture Sub Committee #1
|District||Cities/ Counties||Delegate||General Assembly Ph#||E mail|
|3rd||Bland, Buchanan, and Tazewell;Part of Russell.||James W. “Will” Morefield||804 698 1003||DelJMorefield@house.virginia.gov|
|9th||Patrick; Part of Franklin County and Henry.||Charles Poindexter||804 698 1009||DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov|
|14th||Danville; Part of Henry and Pittsylvania||Danny Marshall, III||804 698 1014||DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov|
|35th||Part of Fairfax County||Mark Keam||804 698 1035||DelMKeam@house.virginia.gov|
|54th||Part of Caroline and Spotsylvania||Robert “Bobby” Orrock, Sr.||804 698 1054||DelBOrrock@house.virginia.gov|
|73rd||Part of Henrico||Debra H. Rodman||804 698 1073||DelDRodman@house.virginia.gov|
|80th||Part of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk and Portsmouth||Matthew James||804 698 1080||DelMJames@house.virginia.gov|
|81st||Part of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake||Barry D. Knight||804 698 1081||DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov|
|100th||Accomack,and Northampton; Part of Norfolk and Virginia Beach||Robert S. Bloxom||804 698 1000||DelRBloxom@house.virginia.gov|
Follow the link below to plan your trip to the General Assembly!
Here is a link to the Code of Virginia, Section 3.2-5130 Inspections related to Food Establishments: Exemptions. This lists all the products allowed for sale from an uninspected home kitchen.
The original “kitchen bill” and the amendment in 2013 to include an greatly extended list of products, are a direct result of the dedication and hard work of VICFA members. Please consider giving the organization a donation.
The following link goes to a comprehensive explanation of the law from VDACS: