Wednesday, June 19, 2013
State Proposes Changes To Alaska Food Code
The new proposed program hopes to help facilitate the safe sale of local food in Alaska.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is looking to lower the food safety guidelines across Alaska by allowing anyone to sell “low risk” foods, which include breads, cookies, cakes, pies, nuts, granola, dried herbs, as well as whole vegetables without a permit.
DEC officials say they’ve received a lot of requests from people wanting to sell baked goods at local farmers markets.
The proposed regulations would allow people to sell their locally made dried goods only at local farmers markets, and not wholesale or at a store. There would also be a cap of $25,000 in total sales for a calendar year.
Producers would be required to have a label before it’s sold, that states it wasn’t subject to state inspection.
“We want people to trace back if there is ever a problem,” said Kristin Ryan, director of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. “We want to be able to know who you sold to and have a limited exposure.”
The proposed regulations would not affect the Municipality of Anchorage, because the DEC only regulates outside the city limits. Currently, producers in Anchorage are only allowed to sell local foods with a permit.
As for the safety of selling “low risk” foods, DEC officials say they believe there are no potential health risks and have done thorough studies to support their proposal.
“The potential for causing harm is minimal if you follow some sanitary standards which we outline in the regulations,” said Ryan.
The DEC plans to hold several public workshops across the state before making any final decisions.