Processing, selling homemade foods got easier thanks to bill

By Tamera Thomas/ Published:

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services are partnering to support farm friendly legislation.

House Bill 391 and Farmers Market Legislation allow Kentucky farmers who grow and harvest produce to process value-added products and sell them from designated farmers markets, certified roadside stands and the processor’s farm.

There are two processing categories in HB 391, Homebased Processor and Homebased Microprocessor. To qualify under either program, the final product must contain a primary or predominant ingredient which is a fruit, vegetable, nut or herb that is grown by the farmer in Kentucky.

Homebased Processors may produce and sell low-risk products such as jams, jellies, syrups, baked goods, and dried fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs.  There is no fee associated with becoming a Homebased Processor, but annual registration with the Cabinet for Health Services is required and labeling rules must be followed.

Information and application forms are available from Shadrick Adams at the Food Safety Branch, 502-564-7181 or Shadrick.Adams@ky.gov.

Homebased Microprocessors may sell higher-risk products such as canned tomatoes, pickled fruits and vegetables, salsa, barbecue sauce, pepper or herb jellies, herbal vinegars, low- and no-sugar jams and jellies, and pressure-canned vegetables.

The first step to becoming certified as a Homebased Microprocessor is to attend a Homebased Microprocessor (HBM) workshop presented by the University of Kentucky. To complete the workshop, farmers must pay the $50 workshop registration fee, attend the entire workshop, and pass both exams, as established by HB 391 regulations.

Next, recipes for all products to be sold under the program must be submitted to the University of Kentucky for approval, at a fee of $5 per recipe.  Proof of workshop completion, approved recipes, and draft labels for all products are then attached to the application for HBM certification and sent to the Cabinet for Health Services, along with a $50 certification fee.

Once full HBM certification is received from the Cabinet for Health Services, it is up to the processor to follow approved recipes and recommended safe canning procedures in producing his or her value-added products.

Questions should be directed to Debbie Clouthier at 859-257-1812 or debbie.clouthier@uky.edu. Farmers may register online, by email at debbie.clouthier@uky.edu, or by calling 859-257-1812.

Source: Debbie Clouthier, UK Agriculture Extension Associate

How to register
The University of Kentucky Homebased Processing and Microprocessing Workshop is 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday at the Franklin County Extension Office, 101 Lakeview Ct. Registration is required by Tuesday.

The registration fee is $50 workshop registration and should be sent to: Sandra Bastin, 206 Funkhouser Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0054. Make checks payable to the University of Kentucky.

For more information go to the website for downloadable forms at http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/micro/ or stop by the Extension Office.

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