A Comprehensive Guide to Homemade Food Business in Texas

    Foods Made At Home: Procedures to Follow

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    What You Need to Know About Making Food At Home & Selling It*

     

    USE ONLY APPROVED RECIPES:

    • approved by DSHS;
    • tested by an appropriately certified lab to confirm the final pH;
    • approved by a qualified process authority, or
    • tested at your own home**.

     

    USE APPROVED SOURCES FOR RECIPES

    As of July 2019, DSHS has approved the following sources for recipes:

     

    EXCLUSIONS

    The following foods are strictly prohibited for sale under the Texas Cottage Food Law:

    • Any type of meat product
    • Pickled eggs
    • Fermented tofu
    • Fermented fruits
    • Kombucha
    • Kefir or other fermented dairy products

     

    **If you test at home, you MUST test each batch of product with a calibrated pH meter to confirm that the final product has an equilibrium pH of 4.6 or less. You can buy a calibrated pH meter from food manufacturing supply stores, or in a store, relatively inexpensively.

    Baked Goods:

    Cornerstone of baked goods is whether they are TTCS or not. In most of cases that depends on the precise recipe used, such as cream cheese frostings and the like.

    Fruit Butters:

    The Texas Cottage Food Law requires you to determine if your fruit butter is high-acid, low acid, or acidifed

    FOOD TESTING REQUIRED:  

    For TTCS

    Food

    There are several labs in Texas that can perform the testing.

    The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) keeps a list online

    For details, see below.

    USE ONLY APPROVED RECIPES:

    • approved by DSHS;
    • approved by a qualified process authority

     

    USE APPROVED SOURCES FOR RECIPES

    Kelley Masters, a home baker and one of the lead activists who helped pass the cottage food law in Texas, has published e-books with recipes she has had tested to determine if they are TTCS or not. The author explains the factors in basic terms and includes a visual chart on every recipe to show why that recipe is TCS or NTCS. These publications contain thousands of dollars worth of testing results saving you time and money.

     

    These books include useful information, e.i.: 

    • History of the Texas Cottage Food Law

    • NTCS Recipes (Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Cream Cheese Frosting, American Buttercream, etc) 

    • and more.

     

    USE ONLY APPROVED RECIPES:

    • approved by DSHS;
    • tested by an appropriately certified lab to confirm the final pH;
    • approved by a qualified process authority, or
    • tested in your own home**.

     

    USE APPROVED SOURCES FOR RECIPES

    As of July 2019, DSHS has approved the following sources for recipes:

    • "The All-New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes", May 13, 2016
    • "Ball Canning Back to Basics: A Foolproof Guide to Canning Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and More", July 4, 2017

     

    NEED TO KNOW

    • High acid fruit butters may be sold by cottage food producers without additional requirements. These include apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, and prune butters.
    • Low-acid fruit butters may not be sold by cottage food producers. This would include pumpkin, banana, and pear butters.
    • Acidified fruit butters may be sold by cottage food producers if the final equilibrium pH is 4.6 or lower.

     

    **If you test at home, you MUST test EACH batch of the product with a calibrated pH meter to confirm that the final product has an equilibrium pH of 4.6 or less. You can buy a calibrated pH meter from food manufacturing supply stores, or in a store, relatively inexpensively.

    Most cottage food products do not need to be tested, nor do the recipes need to be approved by any health authority

    For Pickled, Acidified Canned Food

    For Fermented

    Food

    The Texas Cottage Food Law includes specific requirements for pickles, acidified canned foods, and fermented foods in order to address concerns about food safety risks; in particular, botulism

    Pickled, Acidified Canned Or Fermented Foods:

     

    *The information contained in this fact sheet is not intended as legal advice. Consult with your attorney accordingly. 

     

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    Food Testing Requirements*