I'm participating in an Expo event in Texas. I still work a full-time job to pay the bills. I generally spend 2 to 3 days on an order working in the evenings after work. I'm not required to have a food permit because I operate my business under the cottage food Act. However, to participate in this Expo they require me to have a temporary food permit.
In order to obtain a temporary food permit, I must have a commercial kitchen to prepare my food for samples or anything I want to sale.
If I bake my cakes in a commercial kitchen and I want to make cake pops out of them, will I have to complete the whole process (mixing batter, baking the cakes, crumbling the cake, mix with frosting, dipping & decorating) in the commercial kitchen? Or, can I just mix & bake the cakes in the commercial kitchen and finish the process at home?
Not knowing the fine print in gaining a temporary food permit in your area, common sense tells me that everything would have to be prepared in a commercial kitchen. I think this is a question you need to be asking both the local authority who issue the temp food permit, and the Expo people. Between them they will have their standards that you have to meet to satisfy the requirements both to be issued with the permit and to participate in the Expo.
Thanks. I keep getting conflicting information. Some say only the cooking has to be done in a commercial kitchen and others say the decoration too. I'm so frustrated.
Not sure how the Cottage Food Law works in Texas, but in Michigan a Cottage Food business CANNOT make anything in a commercial kitchen - you can only bake from your primary residence kitchen.
Commercial bakers can't produce anything outside of a commercial facility - no home kitchens.
Interesting. Thank you for the information. I will definitely ask someone about that. Every little piece of information is helpful. Especially when I've never done anything like this before.
It's all a learning process for me.
First: awesome Cottage Food resource right here: http://forrager.com/law/texas/ Make sure you read through the comments!
Second: I still have a food permit, even under Cottage Food Law in CA, and when I fill out a TFF for wedding shows, I just fill out the requested information (what I'm making, yes it's all shelf-stable, blah blah blah - the last one had a quiz, asking what the final cooking temp for chicken was...), and then attach copies of my business license, food permit (& the certification checklist that went along with that), and my ServSafe certificate. That generally clears up any problems, like where the TFF says that you absolutely positively cannot under pain of death serve food made in a home kitchen. So sending along that additional information helps too.
Finally, I've learned to call the health department first - they tend to know about the requirements for these kinds of events, and they can usually set me straight on what I can or can't do. Good luck!