Arizona Governor Signs Bill Exempting Potlucks from Food Safety Rules

Apr 02, 2016 05:51 AM EDT | By Chandan Das

Doug Ducey
Govenor Doug Ducey speaking at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry's Leadership Series breakfast in Scottsdale, Arizona.
(Photo : Gage Skidmore/ Wikimedia Commons)

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed a bill that exempts potlucks and school veggies from food safety rules, making eating dangerously highly possible in the state by the end of July this year. This bill makes non-commercial potluck social events legal, provided they are outside workplace.

Ducey signed the House Bill 2341 exempting potlucks from food safety rules after the Arizona Legislature approved the bill approving the removal of the ban from potlucks beyond workplaces. The ban on non-workplace potlucks will cease to exist 90 days following the Arizona Legislature adjourns Sine Die.

Freedom to a potluck without government intrusion is a "basic right," Food Safety News quoted Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, after Ducey signed the legislature.

As of now, the state law in Arizona incorporates food safety exemptions for items from cooking schools conducted in owner-occupied homes; safe foods prepared in private homes for sale intermittently or delivery for non-commercial purposes; food cooked or served at employee events or child care units; pre-packaged non-hazardous food and drink sold commercially; as well as safe baked goods prepared in home kitchens.

Meanwhile, eating in Arizona may perhaps be somewhat risky provided Senate Bill 1004, which is already approved by the Senate, also gets the final vote in the House. This bill would let off home grown whole fruits and vegetables or those grown in school or community gardens from food safety rules.

The House Bill 1004 was passed by the Senate on a vote of 20-to-9 with one member absent on Feb. 22. As the bill is now on the House third reading calendar, it can be taken up for a final floor vote any day now.

This Bill proposes to exempt all whole fruit and vegetables that are washed as well as cut on-site for instantaneous consumption at any public or private school from food safety rules. Currently, this type of exemption only exists for child care facilities. 

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