I’ve written several articles about how to start and run a home based baking business. One of the most important considerations of any cook who wants to bake and sell items from home is the state’s health department standards and requirements.
For instance, the State of Alabama Department of Public Health has the authority to prohibit any private establishment from processing food without a permit. For a home bakery to become a legitimate business, it must first adhere to the states’ rules for food safety. The kitchen has to have a separate entrance and exit from the rest of the house. The home baker is not allowed to use a kitchen that is used for any other purpose than her baking business. She must also install up to four sinks.
For most of us who just want to earn a little money, renovating your home to accommodate a new baking business is more than we can afford to do.
There are ways to sell baked goods that have been prepared in a private kitchen in Alabama. One solution is to do so through local Farmers Markets. The Farmer’s Market Authority (FMA) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) proposed regulations to exempt certain foods prepared in home kitchens from intervention by ADPH.
Foods that are considered potentially non hazardous home processed foods include all of what the home baker would include in her repertoire of items: baked breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, brownies, fudge, and double-crust fruit pies, candy, popcorn, caramel corn and peanut brittle. These foods may be sold at Farmers Market as long as they are properly labeled. The home baker must inform potential customers at point of sale by way of clearly visible labels, tags, or placards that the food is prepared in a kitchen that is not inspected by the department of public health.
For information about your states regulatory policies concerning a home based baking business, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fsis_recalls/state_departments_of_public_health/ or http://www.foodsafety.gov/about/state/index.html
“Home Processed Foods and Farmers Markets,” Don Wambles, Director, State of Alabama Farmers Market Authority
Safe Food is Good Food: Food Safety Guidelines for the Home Bakery
Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Home Baking Business