Q: Dear Dave,
I have come up with my own recipe for habanero sauce and was wondering how to go about setting up to bottle it. My main question is, is it legal to produce my sauce and bottle it in my home kitchen? As a small industry wouldn’t I be exempt from certain regulations? All I really want to do is sell to a few local restaurants and at work. And I was thinking of selling over the internet as well on my own website. I guess intrastate laws would apply then though. Any help is appreciated.
A: Hello Fredrick:
I hate to throw a wet blanket over your plans, but your idea is flawed. In the first place, most municipalities have strict regulations against the use of home kitchens for packing product, and require that you use a certified and inspected kitchen. This is certainly a requirement for products shipped across state lines that are covered by FDA regulations. If your hot sauce is going to be a hobby, then just pack it at home and give it away. If you intend to start a small business, turn the packing over to a co-packer and concentrate on the marketing of it, which is the key to success. A mediocre product with good marketing will outsell a great product with poor marketing. If you are serious about starting a small business, see all of our articles, here: http://www.fiery-foods.com/e-zines.asp