MOUNT VERNON — After a long bureaucratic process, the Ohio Department of Agriculture released a new list of approved cottage foods. These are foods approved for home production and are therefore acceptable for sale at farmers markets.
The process was spurred on at a July 11, 2007, meeting between local producers and the ODA at the Knox County Health Department. The ODA team, headed by Deputy Director Greg Hargett, had planned to give a presentation on what products are acceptable for cottage production and which weren’t. Instead, those in attendance told Hargett in no uncertain terms they had a lot of questions and didn’t want to see a slide show.
Many of the questions pointed out inconsistencies and misinformation in the rules. The ODA team listened to the concerns and questions posed by those in attendance, and began to set the process of change in motion. The list can only be updated through a lengthy bureaucratic process of review.
After a meeting Wednesday morning at the ODA office, a revised list of approved cottage foods was released as follows.
A cottage food cannot be a potentially hazardous food. This means the food requires temperature control because it is a form capable of supporting the rapid or progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms. These can be raw or cooked animal products, cooked vegetables, garlic in oil, cheesecakes, pumpkin pies, custard pies and cream pies, to name just a few examples.
Cottage food products listed are:
Non-potentially hazardous bakery products
The ODA added the following foods to the list:
Granola, granola bars, granola bars dipped in candy
Popcorn, flavored popcorn, kettle corn, popcorn balls, caramel corn
Unfilled, baked doughnuts
Dry cereal and nut snack mixes with seasonings
Roasted coffee, whole beans or ground
Dry baking mixes in a jar, including cookie mix in a jar
Dry herbs and herb blends
Dry seasoning blends
Dry tea blends
Cottage food industry rules are in the ODA administrative rules 901:3-20-01 through -05.
Anyone with questions concerning selling home-produced products at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market can call Troy Cooper at 397-0401. The Mount Vernon Farmers Market is open every Saturday morning, May through the end of October. It is held from 9 a.m. to noon on Public Square.