Sweet success at last New Jersy residents can now legally

Sweet success at last! New Jersy residents can now legally sell their home-baked goods. Baking from home for profit is finally legal in New Jersey. The state Department of Health on Monday published a set of rules that will allow bakers and confectioners to apply for a permit to run a “cottage food” business from their very own kitchens.

New Jersey was the only state in the country that prohibited culinary entrepreneurs from making and selling cakes, brownies and other delectables from home. The state required they operate from a commercial kitchen, out of concern for sanitation and safety.

But the New Jersey Home Bakers Association and the Institute for Justice challenged the rule in court on constitutional grounds, arguing it protected commercial bakers and other food manufacturers at the expense of private individuals who wanted a chance to earn some extra money.

The health department announced in July it was scrapping the restrictions on selling home-baked goods. The new rules took effect Monday, with the state publishing in the New Jersey Register the application for a cottage food business license.

“New Jersey home bakers have been fighting for years for the right to bake. Today is the culmination of their hard work and time spent fighting for their rights,” Institute for Justice Attorney Rob Peccola said in a statement.

More than 80% of home bakers in the U.S. who responded to an Institute for Justice survey are women and had a median income of $36,000. For the majority, baking is a hobby or a chance to make some extra money. Half work full- or part-time jobs, while nearly a quarter are retired and 15% identified as homemakers.

“The door is now open for bakers to be compensated for their talents just as any other professional is paid for their time and services,” said Mandy Coriston of Newton, a member of the New Jersey Home Bakers Association. “More importantly, it offers consumers a new freedom of choice in where they source their baked goods, and allows bakers across every walk of life to work in the place they feel most comfortable—their homes.”

Home-based bakers must follow some rules and attest they will operate in a clean and safe environment. They cannot earn more than $50,000 a year. The home baker must be willing to submit to an on-site inspection if a complaint is filed, according to the regulations.

They are limits to what may be produced and sold. These items include breads, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pastries, candy, dried fruit, dried pasta, jams and jellies, fruit pies, fudge, granola, popcorn and caramel corn, roasted coffee, dried tea, herbs, pizzelles and more. State permission is needed to make additional items, according to the rules.

They must label their products with a list of ingredients and a notice that the food was prepared in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the state.

“I have been a part of this effort since 2015, alongside the four incredible women that make up the board of the New Jersey Home Bakers Association. I am beyond happy that New Jersey has a cottage food law,” said Martha Rabello of Fanwood, a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “I can’t wait to see New Jersey home bakers thriving.”

While the study gives a lot more data on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — 12,000 people received either a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shot, compared to the 48 people given two doses of the J&J vaccine — the study gave some clarity into how the public is reacting to the booster shots outside of clinical trials.

The CDC said those who received three doses of the Pfizer or Moderna shots had localized reactions, such as pain, itchiness, or swelling at the injection site.

Less common side effects after dose three of the Moderna or Pfizer shots include muscle aches, fatigue and headaches, according to the CDC.

A second dose of the J&J vaccine in study participants proved to have the fewest side effects of all.

The CDC study reported that only 10% of J&J recipients reported side effects that hindered them from participating in their daily lives, while 28% of Moderna or Pfizer recipients said the shots got in the way of going about their routines.

Overall side effects were more pronounced after people took a third dose of the Moderna shot. Half of Moderna booster recipients reported headaches and muscle aches, and 60% said they came down with fatigue.

As for the Pfizer shot, less than 40% of people who received the Pfizer booster reported headaches and muscle aches, and around half said they came down with fatigue.

Only about 25% of J&J booster recipients had injection site reactions, and 20% of J&J booster recipients reported headaches and muscle aches.

The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office has launched a year-long program focused on improving how police tackle juvenile crime.

The goal, apart from the obvious mission of reducing crime, is improving police-community relations, according to an announcement from the prosecutor’s office.

The effort is a collaborate project between local law enforcement agencies and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, Rutgers and Clarus Research.

Grants from the U.S. Department of Justice will be used to examine if “problem-oriented police strategies, combined with specialized training for law enforcement officers in improved youth interactions” can result in a drop in juvenile crime while also improving how police and the communities they serve interact.

For this study, problem-oriented policing is a method used to identify and analyze youth crime issues and develop effective response strategies.

“Innovative policing interventions grounded in youth-centered approaches have the potential to promote positive exchanges between youth and police officers, which can be life-altering as the police are typically the first point of contact youth have in juvenile justice and often have a big effect on how a case is later handled by other juvenile justice decision makers,” the announcement notes.

As part of the effort, officers in Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland will make proactive efforts across targeted areas in the three cities, working with residents to identify concerns in their communities, with a focus on youth crime prevention.

Bridgeton and Millville are each eligible for $25,000 of federal grant funding for the program, while Vineland is eligible to receive $36,000.

The grants will also fund a community survey program for juveniles in the three cities. NORC recently launched a baseline survey of residents 12 to 24 years old in selected households to gauge perceptions of crime and interactions with police. The selected participants will receive $20 for completing the survey.

This effort launched Friday and will continue through fall of next year.

When it’s over, NORC will analyze survey data and police data to evaluate the impact of the program and a follow-up survey will assess changes in community perceptions of how police and juveniles interact.

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