Sacramento County cities push back on law to permit home cooks

Data pix.

ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) -- Pizza, enchiladas, tacos — all readily available to buy from home cooks in Sacramento County and easy to find on social media.

The problem is while ordinances are almost never enforced, technically none of those food sales are legal.

“There are health regulations regarding the preparation of foods in one’s home and then making that available for public consumption,” said Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli.

In 2018, a new law went into effect. Assembly Bill 626 decriminalizes cooking and selling food from home after getting a county-issued permit.

But there’s a catch. The law says each county can decide if it wants to implement it or keep home cooking for sale illegal.

So far, Sacramento County is undecided.

“And so, if a county goes in, then all the cities within that respective county are also brought in,” Nottoli explained.

And at least a few cities, like Elk Grove, are pushing back.

“We would recommend to the county that they not implement the law,” said Shane Diller, the assistant development services director in Elk Grove.

Diller said the city staff is asking its council members to take a stance against home kitchens.

The law allows up to 30 meals per kitchen in one day.

Diller said he fears some individual homes may begin to look like restaurants.

“It could negatively impact the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods,” he told FOX40. “And we’re very concerned about making sure we maintain the residential character of those neighborhoods.”

The home cooks FOX40 spoke with did not want to appear on camera because, technically, they are violating county rules. But many said they usually sell their foods online or in meetup groups rather than having multiple customers eat in their homes.

Sacramento County is waiting to hear from its city governments, which means home foodies will have to wait and see if they can work out of the shadows.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.