Cottage Foods
Cottage Foods
Cottage Foods
University of California
Cottage Foods

Sanitation and Operating Procedures

All CFOs must comply with the following requirements:

• No domestic activity in kitchen during cottage food preparation.

• No infants, small children, or pets in kitchen during cottage food preparation.

• Kitchen equipment and utensils kept clean and in good repair.

• All food contact surfaces and utensils washed, rinsed, and sanitized before each use.

• All food preparation and storage areas free of rodents and insects.

• No smoking in kitchen area during preparation or processing of cottage food.

• A person with a contagious illness shall refrain from preparing or packaging cottage food products.

• Proper hand-washing must be completed prior to any food preparation or packaging.

• Water used in the preparation of cottage food products must be potable. Cottage food preparation activities include:

- Washing, rinsing, and sanitizing of any equipment used in food preparation

- Washing and sanitizing hands and arms

- Water used as an ingredient of cottage food

Note: requirements vary by county on how frequently CFOs outside of municipal systems must test their water and the types of testing they must conduct. Check with your county's Environmental Health department.

• All ingredients used in cottage foods must be from an approved source. An approved source is a producer, manufacturer, distributor, or food establishment that is acceptable to individual local enforcement agencies--conforming with applicable laws—or in the absence of applicable laws--with current public health principles and practices, and generally recognized industry standards that protect public health. Approved source includes growers certified by Agricultural Commissioners. Some counties have Approved Source Programs for community or culinary gardens that self-certify their production management practices. Recent legislation provides that any whole, uncut fruit or vegetable or unrefrigerated shell egg grown or produced in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and food safety guidelines shall be deemed to be from an approved source. Thus, fruit from a backyard garden that was produced in compliance with the rules stated in the preceding sentence would be considered to be from an approved source.

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