Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:
What are the rules regarding homemade items like salsa at farmer’s markets? When I was with the J-town, Kentucky farmers market, I thought homemade items were not legal to sell. I thought you were required to have your kitchen state certified or something. I would like to make salsa for next year’s market. I love your site!

Melaney Roth
Kentucky

 

DEAR MELANEY:
Thanks for the compliment; we are certain that we would love your salsa as much as you love our site.

We posed your question to veteran farmer’s market manager Nina Planck (who hails from a proud lineage of farmers marketers and is founder of the nonprofit Local Foods). Here’s what Nina had to say:

“On selling preserves and other processed foods:

Each state regulates the sale of preserves and other processed foods. Some states allow home processing of jams, jellies, pickles, relishes for commercial sale. Others require you to take a food processing course, get a home processing license, or even build a certified kitchen.

The main concern is the minimum temperature, minimum acidity, and sugar content of the preserves. All of those factors affect the likelihood of spoilage. Highly acidic and very sweet things retard spoilage and reduce risk. Record keeping is important. In New York State, for example, you have to keep a log of batches and temperatures.

Check with your state’s department of agriculture www.kyagr.com for details.”

NF

 

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