What Qualifies As Potentially Hazardous?

Business By myheartsdesire Updated 21 Jul 2011 , 2:07pm by alvarezmom

myheartsdesire Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 4:55pm
post #1 of 20

I'm thinking about starting a business under the new cottage food law. I know that to do so I can only sell food that is not potentially hazardous. Would that knock out most good fillings and real buttercream? Any other advice?

19 replies
southerncross Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 5:09pm
post #2 of 20

Wow, you know the states aren't going to make it easy on you. Actually each state health department has a legal definitiion of "potentially hazardous".

Here's South Carolina's

Potentially Hazardous Food Definition

Potentially Hazardous Food is a natural or a synthetic food that is in a form capable of supporting:

The rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms. OR
The growth and production of a poisonous substance (toxin) called Clostridium botulinum. Clostridium botulinum is a germ (type of bacteria) that causes botulism, a muscle-paralyzing disease. Foodborne botulism occurs when a person ingests pre-formed toxin that leads to illness within a few hours to days. Foodborne botulism is a public health emergency because the contaminated food may still be available to other persons besides the patient.

Potentially hazardous food does not include:

A food with a water activity (aw) value of 0.85 or less
A food with a hydrogen ion concentration(pH) level of 4.6 or below when measured at 75°F.
A food in an unopened hermetically sealed container that is commercially processed to achieve and maintain commercial sterility under conditions of non-refrigerated storage and distribution
A food for which laboratory evidence demonstrates that rapid and progressive growth of infectious and toxigenic microorganisms or the slower growth of Clostridium botulinum cannot occur and which is granted a variance by the health authority.

Don't you wish they would just list real foods as to whether they are Potentially Hazardous or not?

myheartsdesire Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 5:34pm
post #3 of 20

Wow, that is soo not helpful.. icon_wink.gif Just kidding but seriously that's insane. Do they want people to not understand and mess up and get fined or do they not know what they mean and want to sound like they do?? My brain zoned out halfway down the list...icon_smile.gif

southerncross Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 5:45pm
post #4 of 20

Exactly! You are not alone.

kelleym Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 5:47pm
post #5 of 20

Read this:

http://www.deh.enr.state.nc.us/ehs/Food/020614_Potentially_Hazardous_Desserts.pdf

Basically, if you have to keep the final product in the refrigerator, it's potentially hazardous. If you don't, it's generally NPH.

Potentially hazardous foods require temperature control, ie: refrigeration. You don't keep a chocolate chip cookie in the refrigerator, but you do keep a cheesecake in the refrigerator. It's mostly common sense. If in doubt about an item, don't sell it.

louanne Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 5:50pm
post #6 of 20

potentially hazardous is anything that REQUIRES refridgeration, most buttercreams are fine because the high sugar content keeps butter from spoiling at normal room temperatures. cream cheese is out, anything that HAS to be refridgerated to not spoil is what they mean by potentially hazardous, if it falls under the old rule of cannot be left at room temp for over two hours without developing bacterias that will cause food poisoning you are not suppose to make it. HTH,

myheartsdesire Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 5:57pm
post #7 of 20

Yeah, it sorta does. I have never seen anything official about buttercream, just people saying the sugar content keeps it from spoiling so I don't really get it. I've learned this stuff in school but it still doesn't make much sense to me...Do you keep lemon curd in the fridge? It has a high sugar content but maybe the eggs make it more hazardous? And what about purchased fillings? I have seen them but never used them. Are they any good? And are those ok to leave out?

louanne Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 6:45pm
post #8 of 20

we always refridgerate lemon curd because of the egss, purchased fillings, i would read the packages to see if they have to be refridgerated. i would use this rule of thumb, if you wouldnt eat it or give it to your kids after sitting out, then dont risk it.

scp1127 Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 11:20am
post #9 of 20

southerncross posted the limits by law. I wouldn't disregard this information. If you get sued, not knowing the law will hurt you. When in doubt, ask your health department. They may not know every answer due to variances in recipes and their answers, if incorrect, will still make you liable. That is why the code is worded that way. If you want to be sure, stick with the least perishable items, or contact your state Dept of Ag for guidance.

myheartsdesire Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 12:55pm
post #10 of 20

Thanks everyone! Like I said, I'm still just thinking about it. I will be checking with the proper agnecies before actually doing it.

alvarezmom Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 7:57pm
post #11 of 20

Geez, I have been trying to comment for the past 3 days! Darn little bigs. LOL

The bake store that I visit has the premade fillings at room tempature. There the ones in the sleeve and cost about $3.50 (or somthing to $3.00's). To me if they have them left out in there store not refrigerated then those would be ok to sell. They have raspberry, blueberry, bavarian creme. Now if I opened one and didnt use it I most certainly wouldnt use it on another order, but that is just me. Beside with them being so inexpensive in my HO, I would just throw it out or use it for a cake for my house for my kids to enjoy.

It would be great if maybe we could get a list together of the fillings/icing's/products that wouldnt fall under the "hazardous" rule.

cakestyles Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 8:05pm
post #12 of 20

I would think your HD person will go over that with you when you apply for licensing.

In my state they actually had me bake a sample cake with icing and they sent it to a lab to be checked. (I joked with my family that the lab was probably a bunch of men at the town hall with a pitcher of cold milk)

Anyway, since every state is different, in some cases every county could be different even in the same state...I would ask your town/city's HD person exactly what is acceptable and what isn't.

Good luck

Annabakescakes Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 9:04pm
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

I would think your HD person will go over that with you when you apply for licensing.

In my state they actually had me bake a sample cake with icing and they sent it to a lab to be checked. (I joked with my family that the lab was probably a bunch of men at the town hall with a pitcher of cold milk)

Anyway, since every state is different, in some cases every county could be different even in the same state...I would ask your town/city's HD person exactly what is acceptable and what isn't.

Good luck




Of course it was!

BTW, the "sleeve" fillings that are most shelf stable are awful. I may be sensitive, but I swear they taste like chemicals aluminum and artifical flavor.

jason_kraft Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 9:09pm
post #14 of 20

We use Solo canned fruit fillings when fresh fruit is not available, they taste just fine -- no chemical or artificial taste as far as I can tell. You can buy them in cases of 12 directly from the mfr or on Amazon.

Annabakescakes Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 9:28pm
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

We use Solo canned fruit fillings when fresh fruit is not available, they taste just fine -- no chemical or artificial taste as far as I can tell. You can buy them in cases of 12 directly from the mfr or on Amazon.




Fresh fruit is potentially hazardous, isn't it? I mean, after it is cut? I don't remember.

jason_kraft Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 9:35pm
post #16 of 20

The FDA's definition only includes cut melon, I'm not sure how cut berries are classified.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ScienceResearch/ResearchAreas/SafePracticesforFoodProcesses/ucm094143.htm

Annabakescakes Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 10:04pm
post #17 of 20

Actually, melon is what I was picturing when I was picturing cut fruits being hazardous. I think most berries are acidic enough to keep from spoiling soon.

myheartsdesire Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 2:17am
post #18 of 20

Yeah, my Servesafe book just says Cut melons, not that other fruits cannot become unsafe but not as likely. I guess I'm just confused about some foods. I need to go see my sanitaton teacher, I think. It's been a while, I suppose.icon_smile.gif

MerlotCook Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 1:51pm
post #19 of 20

It is confusing! In my state I cannot use any fresh fruit for my cakes. I really like the sleeve fillings (like Bavarian Cream!) from GSA- my health inspector said this was fine to use if I have proof from the company that it doesn't need refrigerated for short term.

alvarezmom Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 2:07pm
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlotCook

It is confusing! In my state I cannot use any fresh fruit for my cakes. I really like the sleeve fillings (like Bavarian Cream!) from - my health inspector said this was fine to use if I have proof from the company that it doesn't need refrigerated for short term.




Well that's a relief. I've been doing vanilla/chocolate mousse in some of my cakes for my family and also whipped cream. I'm glad I can still use fruit.

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