Press Release: State Bureaucrats Plan to Tighten Up the Law that Caused Girls’ Lemonade Stand to Be Shut Dow

For Immediate Release, June 15, 2015

Contact:  Judith McGeary, 512-484-8821,

For a pdf version of this release, click here

State Bureaucrats Plan to Tighten Up the Law that Caused Girls’ Lemonade Stand to Be Shut Down


 Austin, TX:  The regulations that forced two little girls from Overton to close their lemonade stand are about to become even more intrusive if the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has its way.


“Under the new proposed regulations, the girls would have to have the ground for the lemonade stand graded for proper drainage, completely enclose the food preparation area with walls or screens, and have a way to heat water on-site,” explained Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, a local foods advocacy organization.


McGeary pointed out that these new regulations are not part of the 2013 cottage food law, which local authorities and media reports incorrectly pointed to as the reason for the lemonade stand’s shutdown.


The cottage food law allows people who produce certain non-potentially hazardous foods in their home kitchens to sell a limited quantity directly to consumers without being subject to DSHS’s over-reaching regulations.  The law does not cover lemonade or any other foods that must be kept cold; these foods remain subject to regulations that were in place many years before the cottage food law was adopted.


“The regulations DSHS is currently considering are the same type of absurd requirements that drove the Texas legislature to pass the cottage food law to remove this barrier for certain foods produced in home kitchens,” explained Kelley Masters, a home baker and the founder of Texas Bakers’ Bill facebook page. “And now DSHS is proposing even more regulation for anyone who isn’t covered by the cottage food law.”


State lawmakers have never debated the existing food establishment regulations nor the new proposals; they are administrative actions taken by the agency.


“It’s time to regain some common sense in our food system.  It does not make our food supply safer to have the agency keep adding more and more regulations that keep kids from traditional activities and drive small-scale, local producers out of business,” concluded Ms. McGeary.


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The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers.  FARFA promotes common sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.