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Judge allows challenge to Lincoln's regulations for home bakers to proceed
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Judge allows challenge to Lincoln's regulations for home bakers to proceed

Home Baker

Cindy Harper, a Lincoln home baker who challenged the city's cottage food ordinance, poses for a photo in her kitchen in May.

A lawsuit seeking to overturn new Lincoln regulations for home bakers survived an early challenge after a district judge shot down an attempt by city attorneys to dismiss the case.

Lancaster County District Judge John Colborn allowed Cindy Harper's lawsuit to proceed after finding tension exists between the state law and the city's cottage food business ordinance enacted in February.

State law required only that cottage food businesses register with the state and disclose to their customers that the food wasn't subject to regulation or inspection, but health officials said the city regulations passed this year simply clarify how the businesses could operate safely.

Previously, Lincoln's city code prohibited the businesses, and people who legally wanted to sell food products made in their home needed to go through a farmers market.

Lincoln woman seeks to overturn city's new regulations for home bakers

Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department staff said kitchen inspections set out in the ordinance would help reduce food-borne illness, and other rules would help govern food safety by barring pets from being present in the kitchen, for example.

Harper filed her lawsuit challenging the ordinance's constitutionality in May and the city sought to have the case dismissed. 

Rules for Lincoln home bakers approved over cries of 'excessive' rules, regulations

Colborn issued his order Monday, which also curtailed parts of Harper's lawsuit.

In a statement Wednesday, Harper said she was pleased with the ruling, which moves the case closer to a civil trial.

“It’s good to be one step closer to the elimination of the unfair and inequitable regulations that Lincoln is imposing on its residents,” she said.

City: Proposed regulations for home bakers in Lincoln add 'higher level of protection' from food-borne illness

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.


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