Waterford, Michigan -- The MSU Extension's Health and Nutrition Food Safety team has created an online training video to educate Michigan residents who want to open their own cottage food business about the 2010 Cottage Food Law and to provide food safety training so that safe food products are being sold to customers. The video is available online at http://vimeo.com/24282676 (Video# 59).
The online training, or Webinar, covers Michigan's Cottage Food Law and safe food production, including packaging and labeling the product and how to safely store and transport it for sale.
This new law is a great opportunity for many who have been thinking about starting a food business, but have been hesitant to spend the money needed to establish, or rent, a commercial kitchen, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). However, even without state licensing and inspection requirements those preparing cottage foods are still responsible for providing safe products.
Cottage foods are specific types of foods that are made in home kitchens. Not all foods can be made at home and sold to the public. The law is quite specific as to the kinds of foods that can be sold under the Cottage Food Law. Homemade foods made and sold under the cottage food law are low risk for causing food-borne illness.
Individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit who are considering selling some cottage foods should watch this Webinar. After the Webinar, the viewer can take a quiz to measure what he or she has learned and then receive a certificate to display when selling cottage foods at farmers markets, festivals and other sales locations. The certificate is not required to sell cottage foods but it is evidence the cottage food vendor has participated in food safety training related to cottage foods.
The Webinar link also provides Food Preservation videos http://vimeo.com/24282676 (videos #60-64) to assist all interested in Home Food Preservation. For those interested in learning more about food preservation, Macomb County MSU Extension currently has food preservation classes scheduled and Oakland County MSU Extension offers a food preservation correspondence course.