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I'm considering beginning a startup for a website and mobile…

Customer Question
I'm considering beginning a...

I'm considering beginning a startup for a website and mobile app. I have some specific questions related to food safety laws that I would need to have answers to before I can move forward with the startup. I wanted to get an estimate on cost for providing me some answers.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? And have you consulted a local attorney?

IL. No.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been officially filed? If so, what?

No, i'm considering the issues involved with the concept right now.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so...it's specifically around food safety laws around food prep and delivery, so that very particular area.

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Legal
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
As I understand it, there are specific requirements for a "commercial kitchen" when food is served to the public. That is what I'm wondering about as a legal matter, how to work around that. I'm thinking of developing a new app that allows for pick-up of "home cooked meals." Someone at home is cooking something...others can see what is being prepared for later that day and if they want it, they can pay a fee in advance then pick up (for example) a meal for two from that person's house on their way home from work. They can look at all the food being cooked in the area on their way home, from those who signed up. This app is perfect for stay-at-home moms to prepare extra quantities of food they are already cooking. I would connect them with those who want the home cooking and reviews will help identify the best chefs. But I need to solve the "commercial kitchen" issue. Wondering what the specifics of that law are...and if there is a workaround, such as...all those members of the app have to pay a fee? To make it a "food club?" Or is there any other solution?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
FYI, I thought this was going to be a live chat and that's why I wasn't more specific in my first comments.
Answered in 1 hour by:
11/20/2017
Lawyer: Edward Young,
 replied 5 months ago
Edward Young
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 343
Experience: Principal Attorney at The Law Offices of Edward D. Young, III
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Lawyer: Edward Young,
 replied 5 months ago

The reason I ask is that Illinois passed an amendment to their previous law, which is for “home kitchen operations” (PA(###) ###-####/a> aka HB 5354). This specialized law is only for bakers, and unfortunately, it is not available in many counties across the state.

Before anyone can use this law, their county must create an ordinance to allow it, but ordinances can take awhile to get initiated and passed. This requirement also makes it easy for counties to prevent the law from taking effect in their area. Many health departments have little or no incentive to take the effort to make this law available in their area, so many people cannot use it.

If a county does allow home kitchen operations, then all non-perishable baked goods can be made at home and sold directly to customers, either from home or elsewhere. Unlike any other cottage food law, sales are limited to $1,000 per month (rather than on a yearly basis). No registration or permit from the health dept is required, but other local permits may still be required.

The older law (still in effect) is for “cottage food operations“, which may sell up to $36,000 of products at farmers markets. It’s technically possible to use both laws to sell up to $48,000 of goods per year.

But the law doesn’t cover all foods prepared at home and it does not include:

(A) meat, poultry, fish, seafood, or shellfish;
(B) dairy, except as an ingredient in a

non-potentially hazardous baked good or candy, such as caramel;

(C) eggs, except as an ingredient in a

non-potentially hazardous baked good or in dry noodles;

(D) pumpkin pies, sweet potato pies, cheesecakes,

custard pies, creme pies, and pastries with potentially hazardous fillings or toppings;

(E) garlic in oil;
(F) canned foods, except for fruit jams, fruit

jellies, fruit preserves, fruit butters, and acidified vegetables;

(G) sprouts;
(H) cut leafy greens, except for leafy greens

that are dehydrated or blanched and frozen;

(I) cut fresh tomato or melon;
(J) dehydrated tomato or melon;
(K) frozen cut melon;
(L) wild-harvested, non-cultivated mushrooms; or
(M) alcoholic beverages.

If you want to offer these kinds of foods, we need to consider another business structure,

What are you planning on selling?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you for the response Edward. I am happy to do a phone call, but I'm slammed with deadlines at work today and tomorrow will be very hectic. Perhaps we can try after the holiday. The plan with this app is that I will be connecting people to home cooked meals. Home chefs can post what they are cooking for dinner that night. Users can then see what is being cooked, order a serving for 2 and pick it up on their way home from work. They pay via the app when they "order it." The app takes a modest percentage and the chef gets most of the money from the sale. So...I was wondering if there is a workaround for these laws by, say, requiring a membership fee to join a food club to participate in this program? I would like it to be a national app eventually, but it could roll out on a state-by-state basis if it must.
Lawyer: Edward Young,
 replied 5 months ago

Ok. I'll look forward to hearing from you after Thanksgiving.

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