If you live in a state that permits cottage food bakers, you may be thinking about transitioning your baking from a hobby to a business. Cottage food bakery laws permit a baker to operate out of their home kitchen, but there are some restrictions that you need to know about. One of those restrictions is in perishable product sales. There are certain recipes that must be tested to ensure that they are safe to consume without refrigeration. Here's a look at what you need to know about this food testing.
Understanding Food Safety Testing For Cottage Bakers
Cottage bakers must have certain recipes tested for their stability to ensure that those recipes are safe for consumers. The primary consideration in this situation is the pH of the final product and its ability to avoid spoiling at room temperature.
Some of the most common recipes that must be tested for cottage bakers include things like cream cheese frostings and fillings as well as buttercream and some fruit fillings and products. Your local cottage bakery regulatory agency will have the details of the recipes that must be tested before use.
Commissioning Food Safety Testing Services
For most cottage bakers in states that require food safety testing, you'll need to have those safety test reports included with your cottage bakery application. That means having to find a lab to conduct your food safety testing.
In many cases, your local agriculture department or school of agriculture will have testing facilities, though you should expect to pay a fee for each recipe that you need to have tested. Reach out to a few agencies around you to find the one that's the best fit for your needs and your budget.
Preserving Your Food Safety Test Results
Once you have received the results of your food safety testing, you will know which of your recipes have tested safe for use as a cottage baker. It is important that you use those safe-tested recipes precisely when you do use them because they were tested exactly as written.
If you need to make any changes to the recipe, you will need to have that revised recipe tested again. Do not use it for any cottage food sales until you've ensured that it's safe for use. Keep your food safety test results on file so that you can refer to them again if there are ever any questions.
Talk with a local food safety testing service today for more information and to have your recipes tested when you need them.