Legalizan venta de tamales caseros en Arizona

Selling homemade tamales is legalized in Arizona

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A new law in the state of Arizona legalizes the sale of homemade tamales, prompting questions about when selling tamales became illegal, but providing economic opportunities for entire families.

In Arizona, the sale of homemade tamales and other products classified as “homemade kitchen food products” will soon be legal on the state’s streets. Governor Katie Hobbs signed her approval of the legislation last Friday.

This means it will go into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, a date that, for now, remains undefined.

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Photo: Arizona Daily Star

This new legislation will expand the list of items that can be legally sold after being prepared in home kitchens. Previously, the legal sale for these products was limited to cakes and cookies, but now it will include foods with meat and those that require preparation and maintenance at a certain temperature.

Esta ampliación brinda una oportunidad para los vendedores de tamales y otros productos caseros para expandir su negocio de manera legal en el estado.

Background on the law that prohibited the sale of tamales in Arizona

A year ago, the governor of Arizona vetoed the sale of food prepared in home kitchens, arguing that it could pose a challenge to public health due to the risk of infectious diseases.

This veto, supported by several Democratic legislators, frustrated efforts to legalize the sale of homemade food, leaving sellers in a clandestine situation, exposed to fines and even the possibility of facing jail time.

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Photo: The New York Times

When Hobbs’ law was announced, the majority of Republican legislators publicly voiced their opposition to the veto of the sale of food prepared in home kitchens, and they joined in protest with the slogan “Free the tamales,” arguing that the regularization process it proposed was too costly and complicated, especially for migrant women who constitute the majority of sellers.

Changes to the law prohibiting the sale of tamales in Arizona

Representative Travis Grantham, a Republican from Gilbert, who sponsored both versions of the bill, emphasized that 99% of the new version was a continuation of the previous one.

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Photo: Phoenix New Times

However, a new definition of “home kitchen” was added, limiting its size to 92 square meters to prevent larger commercial operations from exploiting legal loopholes.

Additionally, labeling requirements were strengthened to include a warning about potential allergens present in the kitchen.

Katie Hobbs did not speak about her change of opinion

Governor Hobbs had vetoed a previous version of this law last year, citing concerns about foodborne illnesses, despite the broad support the bill had from both Democrats and Republicans.

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Photo: Telemundo Arizona

However, this time, the governor chose to sign the legislation without providing explanations for the change of opinion.

According to Representative Travis Grantham, sponsor of the project, the new version of the bill incorporates significant changes, such as stricter requirements for product labeling.

Future perspectives

The change in the governor’s stance was met with relief by many, especially those who depend on the sale of homemade food for their livelihood.

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Photo: AzCentral

However, some concerns about food safety persist. Despite this, the new law offers an opportunity to regulate and support homemade food vendors, who play a crucial role in the local economy and in preserving culinary traditions.

This measure not only provides new economic opportunities but also recognizes and values the importance of the community’s culinary traditions.

Did you know that in Arizona the sale of tamales was prohibited?

Sources: Tucson News, Az Family, Telemundo, The New York Times

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