Have you ever wondered if you could turn your hobby for making jellies, jams or cakes into a business? While most food items sold in Colorado must be prepared in a commercial kitchen with a food manufactures license, a number of home chefs are selling their creations under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act. The Colorado Cottage Foods Act allows limited types of non-potentially hazardous food products to be sold directly to consumers in Colorado without licensing or inspection.
The Colorado Cottage Foods Act was enacted in March 2012. Under it, producers can sell pickled fruits and vegetables with a finished equilibrium pH of 4.6 or below, spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butter, flour, and baked goods, including candies, fruit empanadas, tortillas and other similar products that do not require refrigeration for safety. In addition, producers can sell up to 250 dozen whole eggs per month. Other items that must be refrigerated — salsas, barbecue sauces, cheeses, cream pies and pastries stuffed with cream cheese or custard — are not considered cottage foods and must be prepared in commercial kitchens. So must products containing any meat, including jerky. To produce these non-eligible food products requires registration with the County Health Department as a food manufacturer and site inspection.
If you would like to create an eligible food item in your home or a commercial kitchen to share with your community, the state requires food safety training. Local food vendors (and those that just want to learn more about food safety) can meet the three-year food safety certificate training requirement through a course provided by Colorado State University Extension.
Cottage Food Safety Training: Steamboat Springs on May 30th from 4pm to 8pm at the Commissioners’ Hearing Room in the Routt County Courthouse. The cost of the course is $30. To register or for more information contact Routt County Extension (970) 879-0825 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Farm to Market: http://cofarmtomarket.com/value-added-products/cottage-foods/
CSU Farm to Table: http://farmtotable.colostate.edu/prepare-cottage-foods.php#.WvW5B-8vyM8