I am sure that it has to be a separate kitchen because I know you need the three compartment sink and floor drain. It's like everything else, if you engage in interstate commerce, the FDA is involved. It's like a drug deal...
"Well,I mostly sell in state, and only a few times across state lines". That's still federal prison. And that guy that shot those people in AZ... one was a federal judge... now it's federal. I don't mean to equate cakes with drugs and murder, but no one knows the answer as to whether or not you will get caught.
But with the feds, it's not how many times you do it, it's if you do it once. And they are very serious about registration with the bioterrorism act. I don't know the chances of getting caught. But I would guess the problems start with recalls, such as eggs. If a person gets sick from mail order cookies, the FDA will be involved.
I would not dare do it once. They take food shipping seriously since 9/11. I am sure the requirements are online somewhere, or cal the state dept of ag. That is where the FDA inspector is in our state.
The recall protocol is up to you as to how you do it. The form just tells you what info to have on hand and for how long. But you are required to keep track of what you produce daily and who got it, which is pretty easy in the baking business.
I have a question to ask when they come to inspect and it is this: if I always buy the same brands of eggs, butter, etc, do I have to keep lot numbers, or can I just have returned all unconsumed products made with that brand during that time? My plan is to mass email and ask for all frozen and unconsumed products back. It can't be that much, maybe a few cookies someone may have frozen for later, or part of a cheesecake.
My kitchen is the first floor of a three story home. I am approved because I met all of the requirements, but it was expensive.
Instead of doing it myself, I hired a web design company. Because they have all of my artwork, they can pop out anything I need at a very low price. So program ads, car magnets, labels, etc., take her about five minutes to produce. They have made sure that I am in the right categories in the right cities, and make sure I show up as one of the first in my categories (which is hard in my case because I advertise outside of conventional categories).
They also saved me $60.00 a month on credit card fees, so in 10 month, that savings alone will pay for the initial $600.00 investment. Because of my marketing background, I did design everything, logo and site design, so that saved me a lot.