The rules only allow stable foods on the shelf, such as snacks and desserts, as well as perishable roasted foods and raw poultry, according to Smith’s interpretation. The 2019 legislature defeated the bill which is identical to the rules put forward a few weeks after the legislative session ended.
The regulation limits or makes ambiguous what food can be sold, said plaintiff Summer Joy Peterson, whose family farms and raises near New Leipzig. For now they only sell bread, fruit cakes, cakes and eggs. They previously sold low-acid canned foods, such as corn, beans, peas, vegetable soup and special mustard corn.
The rules for temperature control have also made gray areas for what custard products can be sold by his daughter, he added. His family began expanding their sales to salsas, vegetables, and other baked goods after the 2017 law passed. He wants the department to cancel the regulation.
His family has sold food at the farmer’s market as a side business and has received a neighbor’s call during the pandemic, but was unable to fulfill every order due to rules or perceived confusion.
“People need food, and they can’t find it easily in the grocery store,” Peterson said.
The health department declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing pending litigation.
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