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What is non-perishable? - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

I'm a little confused by not being licensed but still being legal? How are you able to to one without the other? I only ask because you included it in your post.



i don't know how it is in her neck of the woods, but in AZ the new cottage food law basically makes it *not* illegal and now permissible to produce baked and confectionary items in a home kitchen when following the department's rules: food handler card, following safe practices (gloves, bleach, separate storage of supplies), labeling as from a home-based kitchen, registration with the agency, and non-perishable goods.

It is not as strict as other states that require a home inspection and then issued licenses. So you aren't licensed, but you aren't illegal as it was categorized before.



However, to conduct business in accordance with City/State/etc. law, one must obtain a business license. The cottage food law is only but part of the whole "legal" setup. I think many people assume that registering with the state is all they need to do.
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post #17 of 30
inspiredbymom, you are 1000% in what you are doing - no matter what you read online, it is everyone's responsibility to check with your local HD and if they say NO, then the answer is NO!

I was thinking about it in the car picking my daughter up from daycare on why a HD would not allow something on a cottage level that is deemed safe under federal commercial food production guidelines. Maybe because there is no chain of time/temperature control of the raw ingredients? For example, I buy in bulk from a restaurant supplier, they deliver in temperature controlled trucks and it goes in a commercial walk in. If I didn't have that and was just buying butter and cream cheese from my local grocery store, how does the HD know I didn't let it ride around in the trunk of my car all day? Once something is out of time/temperature, no cooking kills the bacteria. And maybe since they don't require inspections, don't require commercial equipment and don't require a food handler's course to make you learn about all these things, they just say no-no.

Anyway, as I said in my 1st post, call your HD to find out what they want! Don't rely on the internet icon_biggrin.gif
post #18 of 30
FromScratchSF: I don't know if this helps, and by no means do I know the ins and outs of other states, counties, etc. but in my county, in my state, there are so many rules that go to this. My HD goes by the minimum guidelines set forth by the state. The same HD when I was in the city limits had to enforce a different set of rules added on by the city. I could not bake there. The non perishable is really more like non potentially hazardous. That is probably better because all foods will perish eventually (except twinkies??) but as my HD put it, there is a list of things such as jams, fruit pies, jellies, bread, cakes. Things of that nature that can sit on your counter that does not need refrigeration (until it is opened it the jam/jelly example). One reason is that most residents do not have the adequate refrigeration. Even though I have 2 I have to stay within the guidelines. The water/sugar ratio is the key. However, they also said that not all recipes are created equal. Not all icings would work under my current situation. Even butter creams. I work hand in hand with my HD guy and I always suggest that. However, my past has something to do with it. I used to be a licensed childcare provider until I moved. I worked with State, Federal, Fire Marshals and local HD. I am used to safe food practices and all that but I agree that some do not realize what goes on with food. I watch things that other people do without even realizing that they could contaminate other people. Of course, I'm such a germaphobe that I don't even let my kids drink after me (or my husband and he doesn't drool! ) icon_smile.gif
post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all of your responses. I guess the best idea is to just ask the Department of Agriculture (the department that seems to handle these things in VA) about what they consider to be permissable under the law. I certainly don't want to get into any trouble, but still want to be able to provide all the options I can to my customers.

I have also checked my locality, etc. regarding business licences etc., and because I will be doing a low enough volume of production, I am exempt. I am still thinking about setting up an LLC, however with the state and have already gotten quotes for insurance.

Thank you so much for all of your help and advice. The recipes on the Texas Cottage Law website were very helpful and it is so nice to have so many people ready to help out.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
So I'm back to square one. Called the office and the person didn't really know what I was talking about regarding the time and temperature restriction etc., so I explained it to her. She asked around the office and said that there was apparently a list of what was permissible and that she would forward it to me. Got the e-mail and it was literally just a copy of the legislation. Wrote back to ask for the list of items allowed to be produced, and she wrote back saying there was no list, but that things like cheesecakes, pies, puddings etc. and, her words, " basically any pie or cake" wasn't allowed; which I know is wrong according the legislation. Even more confused than before. Any advice? Anyone out there in VA with more info?
post #21 of 30
Don't you have a local department of public health? Because I seriously question the safety of your state if caterers and restaurants are being inspected and regulated by someone that doesn't know what the time/temperature principal is! There has to be some other agency you should be calling.
post #22 of 30
In your posting, you listed the Department of Agriculture. They are part of it, but they may not know what is going on. Unfortunately, it sounds like the don't know where to send you. I answer to a local county department of health. They go by what the state department of health code standards are. Do you have a state department of health or a county health department? Is there a way to find out in the legislation who is monitoring this? There should be a reporting agency. Just have to do some more digging and not give up hope! Keep us posted! icon_smile.gif
post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advice to look up the Health Department info. Seems like the state and locality have adopted the Federal standard for Potentially Hazardous Food, so those recipes in the Texas link (thanks again) should work out well. Does plain buttercream work too?
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyES00

So I'm back to square one. Called the office and the person didn't really know what I was talking about regarding the time and temperature restriction etc., so I explained it to her. She asked around the office and said that there was apparently a list of what was permissible and that she would forward it to me. Got the e-mail and it was literally just a copy of the legislation. Wrote back to ask for the list of items allowed to be produced, and she wrote back saying there was no list, but that things like cheesecakes, pies, puddings etc. and, her words, " basically any pie or cake" wasn't allowed; which I know is wrong according the legislation. Even more confused than before. Any advice? Anyone out there in VA with more info?



I'm in Richmond. Email me at acaketoremember @ yahoo.com and I'll send you the inspector's name to call. I'm not going to post it because the poor guy would get buried.

Ignore everything that's been posted here about non-perishable or not and call the Dept of Agriculture. There are plenty of things that I know are non-perishable, but when I sent my recipes in they called me about some of them anyway and I had to argue with them about it. I've never had anyone question the pH of anything, they just say yes or no and I'm not sure why. You should ask them directly and not take advice from here, because they seem to have a strange set of standards here.

Definitely no cream cheese, ganache or meringue buttercreams, regardless of how shelf-stable people say those things are, unless you really want to try to argue with the Agr. Dept about it. I'd guess no fruit curds, custards or whipped creams either.

Where are you located? Licensing laws apparently vary from county to county, but you'll still have to file to collect sales tax regardless, so you should check into that. When I filed for sales tax I had to have a business license number to do it, but you can check at your county clerk's office for that info. You'll also need to see if you should file for estimated tax for the IRS, but if you're not making that much it probably won't be necessary. Don't ignore the sales tax, though, because if they catch you for not collecting that they will get you and get you good with fines etc. You need to collect at the 5% rate, not the food rate, because they consider decorated cakes to be food that's already prepared, so you have to collect at the higher rate. They might tell you something different, but that won't be right. This was a really complicated issue when they started changing the food tax rates, and they still give you different answers, but you're supposed to collect the higher rate.

Just so you know, the inspectors DO NOT LIKE the cottage law. They don't get to inspect people's kitchens, but they still have to respond to all of the complaints that come in, so they feel like they're being made to respond without the power to inform people first. They're very helpful, so they'll be glad to give you information about food safety, etc.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspiredbymom

In your posting, you listed the Department of Agriculture. They are part of it, but they may not know what is going on. Unfortunately, it sounds like the don't know where to send you. I answer to a local county department of health. They go by what the state department of health code standards are. Do you have a state department of health or a county health department? Is there a way to find out in the legislation who is monitoring this? There should be a reporting agency. Just have to do some more digging and not give up hope! Keep us posted! icon_smile.gif



The Department of Agriculture is the agency that has jurisdiction over food production in Virginia, not the Department of Health. They're the ones who regulate hospitals, etc.
post #26 of 30
I've been a professional chef for well over 20 years. I have my sanitation license and have taken multiple updated courses through out the years. I've tried over and over to get the health instructors to talk specificly about bakery items, because there are so many items that are questionable in bakerys.Truthfully, bakery items aren't really investigated by the health dept. like other items, mainly because of how few serious out breaks of food born illness from bakery items there have been.

I'm in IL, where they just passed the food cottage food law. The basic guidelines did single out specific bakery items we could not sell. Items that have had a history of food born illness connected to them, such as : custard pies, any home canned items, etc... SO, I think if you dig further online in your states cottage food law you might find some items specificly mentioned that you can not sell.

As far as a couple things posted already on this thread there's a couple thing's I'd take issue with. BUT that being said, I've been in the business long enough to know that: what's true in your town or state isn't in mine, you can get different answers from each inspector in your community, recipes differ greatly. For example: lemon curd is totally forbidden under the food cottage law, in IL because it's a cooked custard (containing cooked eggs). In an licensed kitchen lemon curd falls under the time and temp. guidelines.

On the other hand, ganache does not require refridgeration at all. If it was, the candy and bonbons sold all over the world wouldn't exist as they do in our market place. They do have a shelf life, many/most food items have shelf lifes, but that is a seperate factor. (Unless, your adding eggs in your ganache which believe it or not, some people do).

I agree on low moisture content slows down bacteria growth, but it doesn't prevent it. Bacon is o.k. at room temp. if cooked/dried out. Lemon curd might be safe at room temp. if you have a recipe that doesn't contain real eggs.

Read everything regarding your states cottage food law. It's not that hard to understand and it's most likely online and easy to find.
post #27 of 30
I've been a professional chef for well over 20 years. I have my sanitation license and have taken multiple updated courses through out the years. I've tried over and over to get the health instructors to talk specificly about bakery items, because there are so many items that are questionable in bakerys.Truthfully, bakery items aren't really investigated by the health dept. like other items, mainly because of how few serious out breaks of food born illness from bakery items there have been.

I'm in IL, where they just passed the food cottage food law. The basic guidelines did single out specific bakery items we could not sell. Items that have had a history of food born illness connected to them, such as : custard pies, any home canned items, etc... SO, I think if you dig further online in your states cottage food law you might find some items specificly mentioned that you can not sell.

As far as a couple things posted already on this thread there's a couple thing's I'd take issue with. BUT that being said, I've been in the business long enough to know that: what's true in your town or state isn't in mine, you can get different answers from each inspector in your community, recipes differ greatly. For example: lemon curd is totally forbidden under the food cottage law, in IL because it's a cooked custard (containing cooked eggs). In an licensed kitchen lemon curd falls under the time and temp. guidelines.

On the other hand, ganache does not require refridgeration at all. If it was, the candy and bonbons sold all over the world wouldn't exist as they do in our market place. They do have a shelf life, many/most food items have shelf lifes, but that is a seperate factor. (Unless, your adding eggs in your ganache which believe it or not, some people do).

I agree on low moisture content slows down bacteria growth, but it doesn't prevent it. Bacon is o.k. at room temp. if cooked/dried out. Lemon curd might be safe at room temp. if you have a recipe that doesn't contain real eggs.

Read everything regarding your states cottage food law. It's not that hard to understand and it's most likely online and easy to find.
post #28 of 30
The thing about the Virginia cottage food law is that it ISN'T online and easy to understand, though. Stitches, you're right about getting different answers from different people in the field, so you need to know the specific people who will be dealing with you and ask them directly how they do things. I've had different inspectors tell me different things, and I've even "educated" a couple of them after calling and talking to the head of the local Dept of Agricutlture inspections office, who I did a wedding cake for.

The VA cottage food law was written in response to some family farms in the western part of the state who wanted to have no inspections because they wanted to use organic methods that end up with cleaner products, but don't make sense to the FDA because they deal mostly with large factory farms. Once that original intent made its way through our mighty legislature (a bunch of dillweeds if ever there was one) it had turned into rules about selling canned goods at farmers markets. It mentions baked goods, but there's no specifics about what is and isn't allowed.

Based on my personal direct experience with the Va Dept of Agriculture, I'd say that you'll be fine if you use an all-shortening icing, and that custards, curds, whipped creams and meringues will all be totally out. The ones that are iffy would be ganaches, meringue buttercreams and icings that have part shortening/part butter. They tend to look at your recipes and if they have dairy in them they get the big no unless it's going to be refrigerated. They want you to refrigerate everything until delivery in a best-case scenario, so they don't bother to think about whether or not someone somewhere has decided that this or that is shelf-stable for two days or three days. They just say no unless you argue it. And it might depend on who you talk to, but since the inspectors are the ones who would be coming to your house for complaints, you should talk to them.
post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
Ugh, shortening only frostings. Anyone have any actually good recipes for those?
post #30 of 30

It's not milk.... but you can use Ghee.

Get a good quality butter from the store. Make Ghee out of it. (The internet is very helpful with this)

Use any standard 'canna-butter' recipe with the ghee instead of butter.

Shelf-stable and is extremely digestable... very good carrier for cannabis.

Stay Safe!
 

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