The main restriction that cottage food industry members have to be concerned with is the fact that their products cannot end up for resale on the tables of diners, according to the FDA. Guidelines on packaging, liability insurance and licensing normally falls under the jurisdiction of local state and city agencies. When preparing homemade foods in your home kitchen for widespread and commercialized distribution, you are going to want to make sure that you are working within a sterile and well organized area for starters.
Logistically, operations can become more precise when frozen food preparation and refrigerated storage standard are applied:
Freezing Vs. Fresh
Choosing whether to distribute your cottage food products fresh or frozen should be based on distance, demand, and maintaining flavor. Some products with a more limited shelf-life can be shipped to countries abroad using airtight preservation techniques, as well as more basic methods such as canning and freeze drying.
If your cottage foods are best distributed frozen, a wise investment in a mechanical calibration system should immediately follow. In addition to commercial food freezing equipment and utensils, your company will need to implement a uniform set of food handling procedures meant to ensure no contaminants can be transferred to your products. A well monitored mechanical calibration system enables you to operate within FDA guidelines for the safe production and transport of frozen foods, across all industries.
Maintaining Steady Temperature During Transport
Some cottage food based business that choose to ship their foods frozen will actually prepare their products to be frozen well under the temperatures that the FDA requires. In order to do this, installing, then repeatedly testing a customized mechanical calibration system is suggested.
Not all of your products will receive the best results being frozen at the same specifications, and the best way to learn in this industry is via trial and error. You won't need to freeze entire batches of food to get product testing underway, but it suggested that you test and try out all food products, from freezing to thawing, to dining.
Guaranteed Delivery at Optimal Temperatures
Companies that transport frozen food products direct to retailers can easily keep certified records of food temperatures prior to and during delivery. Thermometers can gauge precise food temperatures while being trucked to store shelves, but you will also need temperature controlled trailers.
Hiring staff internally can keep potential mishaps to a minimum, but your only guarantee of maintain foolproof records comes with mechanical calibration, good internal food handling rules, and a rigorous monitoring system.
Setting up and managing your own cottage food business may have begun as only a humble dream, but as soon as you started to consider frozen food product distribution and complex FDA guidelines, you probably realized the true magnitude of your initial vision.
Most state and city level food preparation laws and regulations are not difficult to abide by, as long as you take the time to learn them inside and out. Learn what you need to know about the safest ways to prepare and distribute your growing cottage food products so that your target market will continue to grow. If you need more help, contact a company like Miller Calibration with any questions you have.