Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia?

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia?

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Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia

 To launch your own cottage food business in Virginia, follow these steps:

HOW TO START
You should always check with the city or county administration to see if you need a license before beginning a business.


This process is simple. Call the main number in your city and let them know you're beginning a home-based food company. Find out if a business license is required.

From the list of "approved" foods below, pick foods to donate.
If necessary, apply for a business license with your city or county.
Create labels (see label example and requirement below)
Start selling and marketing your baked goods.

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia



VIRGINIA COTTON FOOD RULES: PERMITTED CUISINE
Here are a few straightforward recipes that you may create at home.

This program does not permit the use of any product that must be kept cold or at a specific temperature.

Biscuits with bread
Breads
Brownies
Cookies and cakes
Muffins
Pizza, rolls, and scones
savoury breads

moist goods

Cereals
the beans of coffee
iced fruit
Blends of herbs
Noodles for pasta
spices & seasonings
leaves of tea

Pastries
(Temp Controlled) Pastries (non-Temp Controlled)
Cones, Pies, Preserves

Jellies, preserves, and jams

Snacks
Candy corn
chocolate-covered objects
Pretzels & Crackers
Granola Seeds & nuts
Kettle Corn Candy Popcorn
Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia
Brittles's Chocolate and Candies
Fudge sauce and cotton candy

Pickles, honey, vinegar, salsa, and pickles
NOTE: If the cuisine you're looking for isn't listed above... To ensure that what you plan to provide is acceptable, get in touch with your regional office. (For regional phone numbers and contact information, see below)

Entrepreneurs and Opportunities in the Cottage Food Industry
Foods that are prohibited under Virginia's Cottage Food Laws
temperature-controlled foods
foods that may be harmful
ANNUAL SALES LIMITS FOR VIRGINIA
You can only earn a certain amount in most states each year.

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia


Typically, this is done to encourage you to create a full-fledged retail business while still allowing you to get started from home. There is no annual cap on food sales in Virginia.

ACIDITY LEVELS AND TESTING
Most states base their determination of whether or not a meal is harmful on its acidity level. A food is more acidic the more stable it is throughout a range of temperatures.

For instance, milk must be stored at a specific temperature since it has a low acidity.

A food's pH level can be used to gauge its acidity.

• The majority of individuals believe that the pH scale runs from 0 to 14. Since pure water has a pH of 7, a pH of 7 is regarded as neutral.

Acidic levels fall below 7, while basic or alkaline values fall above 7.

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia


• All fruits are acidic, and the majority of them have a tart or sour flavor. For instance, a tomato, lemon, peach, or apple.

• According to FDA regulations for acidic foods, a food cannot be sold as minimally processed if its pH is greater than 4.6.

• This is because at such a low pH, bacteria cannot grow.

• The exclusion is not to be interpreted as approving the sale of low acid foods (pH > 4.6) in hermetically sealed containers (such as home-canned green beans, peas, etc.) when such foods are not made at a licensed institution.

TESTING
In some states, if you don't know what the pH level is, you have to take a test.

Many foods already have their pH levels known. You can test the pH on your yourself using a pH spear tester. (Make sure the spear tip is long and that it is made for eating.)

An excellent resource for selecting the best tester for foods and liquids is provided by Oklahoma State University. It offers advice on how to operate and maintain the tester. Download The Guide Here.

food laws in Virginia regarding labeling requirements
Before being sold, all food products must have the proper labels. All food products must at the very least bear the following labels:

the name, location, and phone number of your home-based food business.
Allergens are listed below (see below)
Name of the product, such as When were chocolate chip cookies made?
"NOT FOR SALE - PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION" must be written on each label. Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia
A SAMPLE COTTAGE FOOD LABEL
Here is an illustration of a tag:

Cottage Food Laws in Virginia - Labeling illustration
You may rapidly create professional labels using VistaPrint.com or a comparable service that not only adhere to the state's requirements for cottage food but also help you market your wonderful company and goods.

Inside VendorsUnited.com, you'll find some fantastic examples of this from members.

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia


ALERGENS ON THE LABEL
The top eight food allergies are listed by the FDA. Any of these should be included on your label as it will aid shoppers in selecting your product.

Milk.
Eggs.
Fish (such as cod, flounder, and bass) (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
Clams and other crustaceans (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
Wooden nut (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Peanuts.
Wheat.
Soybeans
Just include the phrase "CONTAINS: SOYBEANS" on your label. Some people go so far as to claim that a specific allergy is used in the same kitchen, which is a very bold claim.

Even if an allergy isn't used in the recipe, several jurisdictions mandate that you list it along with the likelihood of cross-contamination.

Example of an FDA Allergen Label: Contains Wheat, Milk, Egg, and Soy

WHERE CAN I BUY AND SELL MY COTTON FOOD PRODUCTS?
Cottage Food Sales Regulations in Virginia

Each sale is restricted to:

Markets for Farmers Home Delivery

Find out how many owners of small food businesses sell more than they can afford to on kitchenincome.com.

TRAINING FOR FOOD HANDLER AND BEST PRACTICES
Virginia doesn't require you to take a course on handling or maintaining food safety.

Many of our VendorsUnited.com members are proud to display their food safety certifications to show their clients that they value their business. This benefits your business.

It's always a good idea to take a fast online course and get certified because knowing how to handle it securely can safeguard you and your clients.

Numerous quick courses are available online that you may complete to earn certifications that you can then share with your consumers.

Many of our VendorsUnited.com members are proud to display their food safety certifications to show their clients that they value their business. This benefits your business.

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia


SAFE ACTIVITIES
Even if much of this may seem apparent to you, it's still a good idea to compile a list of things to remember so you don't overlook anything little.

And even only for that... CYA! CYA, or Cover Your Ass

WORK SPACE, WORK AREA, AND SANITIZATION
The safe foods you prepare in your kitchen begin there.

To prevent cross-contamination and to provide the safest and best meals possible to your customers and clients, keep your space clean and sterilized.

You can take the following "common sense" steps to ensure that your kitchen is the ideal location for preparing meals to sell:

Keep all equipment and surfaces sanitized and germ-free.

Verify that the screens on your windows and doors are intact.

To prevent contamination, keep items like raw eggs away from flour.

No pets are allowed at home or, if possible, at work.

When food is being prepared, no one with a cold, a cough, or any other illness should be present in the kitchen.

Clean the floors and walls each day.

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia


Make use of good illumination to avoid missing filthy areas.

To keep insects out, maintain your window and door screens in good condition.

Use food-grade gloves while working and wash your hands frequently for added safety.

Keep your food and equipment storage areas hygienic and clean.
KEEPING RECORDS
Why should these documents be maintained?
Imagine that the inspector calls to inform you that someone who purchased your banana bread became ill.

You'll be able to demonstrate that the individual who reported you purchased the banana bread from someone else four weeks prior and that you didn't even prepare it that week.

No need to make this challenging. My favorite yellow legal pads are a low-cost solution for me to keep track of the following:

You use recipes that have an ingredient list.



Date sold (a batch code may be used to assist in tracking a specific batch) Note the date that you sold anything.

Where the item was sold is another crucial detail to keep note of.

Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia


There are several benefits to keeping sales receipts, and on KitchenIncome.com I discuss the most effective methods for keeping track of, managing, selling, and shipping goods.
Cottage food liability insurance
In the society we live in, people like suing. I can sue you if you wear that color shirt. I'm serious!

Even if I don't win, you'll be stressed out and spend money as a result, at the very least.

Liability insurance is an absolute requirement.



WHY? because they employ the lawyers. The same goes for their attorneys.

You should, of course, check costs with a regional representative or a national brand, but you can relax knowing that I've already done the legwork.

Some people elect to form bonds in place. You've heard the phrase "licensed and bonded" before.

A bond will typically be provided to you by your own insurance company or an insurance bonding business. The first time, State Farm gave me a bond.

A bond costs more overall than comparable investments, but less initially. It also has significantly less insurance, of course.
Can I sell baked goods from home in Virginia

 

 

 

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