Improving access to local food
Changes to Alberta’s Food Regulation enable Albertans to sell low-risk home-prepared foods from home and at special events, increasing access to locally prepared food.
Home-based businesses will not require food-handling permits or be subject to inspections for foods that present a low risk for food-borne illness. Low-risk foods do not require refrigeration and include such items as baked goods, jams/jellies, candies, pickled foods and cereals. High-risk foods and foods containing meat, poultry, seafood and/or raw milk will continue to be prohibited.
“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.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
Home-prepared foods, including those sold at farmers markets, will need to be clearly and appropriately labelled so consumers can make informed choices. Vendors at farmers markets selling home-prepared foods will be asked to comply with the new labelling requirements, in addition to existing farmers markets guidelines. Implementation of these requirements will take place gradually, starting with education.
“More and more, Albertans are looking to buy local. 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.”Grant Hunter, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction
Albertans wanting to prepare and sell high-risk home-prepared foods will still be required to have the appropriate food-handling permits and be subject to inspections.
More information on low-risk home-prepared food is available online.
- In Alberta in 2016, food purchased at farmers markets reached an estimated value of $924.5 million, a 27.7 per cent increase over purchases made in 2012.