DCP: Scope and Training Guidance For Exempt Retail Processors of Acidified Foods Pursuant to Public Act 10-103

Scope and Training Guidance For Exempt Retail Processors of Acidified Foods Pursuant to Public Act 10-103

 

The following information is provided as guidance only.  It is the responsibility of the processor to make sure that product meets the full requirements under the applicable State or Federal law and to educate themselves on public health requirements as they pertain to food

 

Scope

It is the understanding of the Department of Consumer Protection that the exemption specified under the act is limited to direct retail sales at the point of production for fruits and vegetables produced on a residential farm. Wholesale operations, e.g., through third party sales including country stores or production in residences not on a residential farm are not subject to this exemption.

 

If you wish to engage in wholesale operations please contact this office by phone at 860-713-6160 or email at food.standards@ct.gov for specific State and Federal regulatory requirements.

 

Naturally acid foods and acidified foods

There can be significant risks associated with canned foods, with naturally acid foods being considerably safer than acidified foods.  Naturally acid foods are those foods that have a pH less than 4.6 and usually considerably lower, berries for example have a pH in the 3 to 3.4 range. 

 

It is recommended that standardized recipes be utilized for naturally acid foods; more information can be obtained at the USDA’s The National Center for Home Food Preservation.*

*NOTE: It is our understanding that this Center may no longer be actively funded. Some aspects of the webpage therefore may no longer be operational or updated on a regular basis.

 

Acidified canned foods can present significantly more dangers.  Canners are cautioned to know and understand the risks related to such processes.  More information on acidified food processes and risks can be obtained from FDA document – “Draft Guidance for Industry: Acidified Foods.”

 

Training requirements

The Act states that training must comply with the following:

 (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 21a-91 to 21a-120, inclusive, and section 19-13-B40 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies, the preparation and sale of acidified food products, jams, jellies or preserves on a residential farm shall be allowed in a room used as living quarters and exempt from inspection by any state or local agency, provided such acidified food products, jams, jellies or preserves are prepared with fruit or vegetables grown on such farm and in the case of acidified foods, provided (1) the water supply of such residential farm comes from a public water supply system or, if from a private well, is tested and tests negative for coliform bacteria, (2) a pH test of such foods is performed by a laboratory after completion of the recipe for such product, (3) use of the kitchen where such foods are prepared is restricted from non-processing individuals, pets, children or any other potential contaminants during such preparation, and (4) the preparer of such foods (A) possesses documentation of such preparer's successful completion of an examination concerning safe food handling techniques administered by an organization approved by the Department of Public Health for qualified food operators, or possesses documentation indicating successful completion of an approved course concerning safe food processing techniques administered by an organization approved by the Department of Consumer Protection, and (B) such documentation is made available to the local health department or the Department of Consumer Protection upon request. If the local health department or the Department of Public Health has reason to believe that a private well used pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection may be contaminated with coliform bacteria, such department may require such private well to be retested for the presence of coliform bacteria. Each container of acidified food products, jam, jelly or preserves offered for sale on such farm shall have on its label, in ten-point type: "Not prepared in a government inspected kitchen".

 

Acceptable training according to the Public Act must either be as a qualified food operator or an acceptable alternative by DCP.  The DCP acceptable alternative based in part on the limited availability of suitable in-state courses for processors, training should be from a recognized Better Process Control School (BPCS).  A list of BPCSs courses recognized by the Grocery Manufacturers Association is located at its website

 

Qualified Food Operator Training (Department of Public Health).

 

Packaging and labeling requirements and resources

 



Content Last Modified on 3/31/2011 2:50:17 PM