When is a Commercial Kitchen Food License Required?
Selling Homestead Food Products in New Hampshire
Starting a homestead food business is a dream of many home cooks. Beginning small, in your own kitchen, with shelf-stable baked goods and other allowed foods is a practical way to try out this venture.
There are some food safety and legal requirements that will help to create a delicious and safe product. This fact sheet, developed from New Hampshire Food Protection Section guidance, can help to get you started. In Parts One (https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource008106_Rep11826.pdf) and Two (https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource008107_Rep11827.pdf) you learned about the kinds of foods you can make and sell in your home kitchen. In this fact sheet, we will discuss the kinds of foods that require a commercial kitchen.
You will need a commercial kitchen food license and access to a commercial kitchen to make and sell these food products:
- Acidified foods: low-acid foods to which acid(s) or acid food(s) are added.
Acidified foods include acidified or pickled:
- Tropical fruits
- Pepper Jelly
For a complete list, contact DHHS: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/fp/contact.htm
2. Fermented foods – sauerkraut, kimchi
3. Special processes – dehydration
4. Refrigerated foods or foods requiring Time/Temperature Control for safety (TCS foods) including cheesecake, sandwiches, salads, soups, etc.
Commercial Kitchen Requirements
- Commercial refrigeration
- 3-bay sink to wash, rinse, and sanitize equipment
- Separate food prep sink
- At least one hand washing sink
- Mop sink
- Floors, walls, and ceilings are required to be smooth, durable, non-absorbant, and easily cleanable
Commercial Kitchen License Requirements
- Water test results
- Septic documentation, including approval for construction and approval for operation
- If the facility is new, then floor plans are required to be submitted for a plan review
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan may be required
Additional FDA Requirements for Acidified Foods
- Processors of acidified foods are required to attend and satisfactorily complete a Better Process Control School (BPCS) for acidified foods.
- In addition to the BPCS, manufacturers of acidified foods are required to file and register their scheduled processes with the FDA.
A scheduled process is the steps and controls you use to manufacture a food that will not permit the growth of food-bourne illness causing microorganisms.
NH Food Protection has a detailed info sheet on these FDA requirements:
https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/fp/documents/processing-faqs.pdf (Scroll to page 5)
For More Information:
Food Processing Authority University of Maine- Beth Calder
Floor plan review
HACCP Principles & Application Guidelines
NH Food Protection Frequently Asked Questions about Homestead Food Businesses
New Hampshire He-P 2300 Sanitary Production and Distribution of Food
NH Food Protection Food Safety and Defense Specialist - Royann Bossidy
Retail food establishments - commercial kitchens
UNH Extension Food Safety Field Specialists
Mary Saucier Choate, firstname.lastname@example.org 603-787-6944
Ann Hamilton, email@example.com 603- 447-3834
Funding for this project provided by USDA-NIFA Award 2018-70020-28876.
Special appreciation to Royann Bossidy of the NH Food Protection Section for her insights and guidance in putting together this 3-part fact sheet series.
Created July, 2020, by Mary Saucier Choate, UNH Extension Field Specialist, Food Safety.