Cottage Food Laws Require Certification in Some States

Cottage food laws have been criticized because there is the perception that the food  might be unsafe.  Many states require training or certification. I just saw a notice for cottage bakers in Colorado. There is an all day training coming up. Here is the notice I found:

The Colorado Cottage Foods Act does require the producers to be certified in safe food handling and processing. An approved certification class is the ServSafe Managers’ Training offered in northeast Colorado by Colorado State University Extension and Northeast Colorado Health Department.

A ServSafe Managers’ Training is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 17, at the Fairgrounds Community Building in Yuma. It begins with registration at 7:45 a.m. The day-long training concludes with the certification exam from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The certification is good for five years.

The training covers safe food sources, personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, and food temperature controls. Training cost is $95 if paid by Aug. 20 and includes a ServSafe manual, lunch, breaks, and the certification exam. After Aug. 20, registration is $120.

Individuals need to register as soon as possible so they can receive the ServSafe manual and read it before the class. For additional information about this new law or to register for the Sept. 17 training, call Yuma County Extension at (970) 332-4151 or Morgan County Extension at (970) 542-3544.

If you are from Colorado and had not seen that notice, you should get in on the early registration.That however is not really the point of this blog. When I had my catering company, my employees were required to go and take a class for a couple of hours max and pass a very easy test to get certified.

Sanitize HandsThe cottage bakers in Colorado and other states are being trained as much and in some cases more than other people who are working in brick and mortar stores. One thing that I would like people who are spreading fear about these laws to consider is that people who are starting a business under these new Cottage Food laws are starting a business that is directly tied to their prosperity. Business owners take a lot of pride in their own business and work harder than any employee.

We have all heard stories about horrible things that happen in restaurant kitchens behind closed doors. Many of those people working in those kitchens have no investment in that business, it is merely a job, and quite possibly not paying a great wage so there is little incentive to care a lot about how carefully the food is handled.

When your name is on the line for what you produce, you will care a lot. It represents you directly, not some business that will take the heat if you goof things up. I would argue that Cottage Food Law bakeries are no more a danger to the public than an other business, in fact, I don’t believe that people should give it a second thought.

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