Nealry a month after vendors were told to stop selling home-made cakes at the downtown Greenville Farmers' Market, state officials have decided to allow the practice to resume next year providing certain domestic kitchen rules are followed. The state officials' rulings have implications for home-bakers throughout the state of TN who would like to sell their baked goods.
Source: Greenville Sun
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - The sale of home-baked foods and canned goods is expected to be allowed to resume next year at Greeneville’s Downtown Farmers’ Market.
This was the assurance provided by a state official during a meeting Monday evening with concerned local Farmers’ Market vendors.
About 25 people attended the two-hour meeting at the Greene County Courthouse Annex moderated by Barbara Holt of the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service in Greene County.
The panel of speakers included John Sanford and Ron Coates of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Dr. Bill Morris of the UT Food Science and Technology Department, and Paul Miller of Appalachian Spring Cooperative kitchen in Hancock County.
Sanford, food manufacturing administrator, said for the past 18 months, he has been working on a rule, essentially an exception to state law, that will allow non-potentially hazardous foods to be prepared in domestic kitchens and sold to the public.
“We are not here to penalize,” he said. “We’re here to help you.” The meeting was scheduled by Rural Resources and Main Street: Greeneville, co- coordinators of the Downtown Farmers’ Market, nearly a month after they were told by state officials that the market’s home-baked and canned goods must be prepared in a licensed kitchen.
Non-potentially hazardous foods include cookies, cakes, most pies, jams and jellies, Sanford said, because they contain sugar.
Sanford said the rule-making process will take about six months, and when the rule is adopted by the state, it will allow kitchens with stainless steel or ceramic surfaces and adequate cleaning facilities to be used for food manufacturing.
He said wood surfaces and utensils are not acceptable, because they are not “food-grade materials.”
Also required will be a separate hand-washing facility, which can be in a nearby bathroom, Sanford said.
And, food preparers will be required to take food-safety training. Any kitchen under 1,000 square feet will have to have a $50 permit and be inspected by the state.
Sanford said his department has 35 inspectors and supervisors who are responsible for approximately 27,000 public health inspections a year.
“As you can see, our plate is somewhat full,” Sanford said.
Coates advised vendors not to now sell home-baked and canned goods illegally. But Sanford said that, while the rule-making process is being completed, his department will not actively seek out non-potentially hazardous foods.
Summary: Non-potentially hazardous goods (cookies, cakes and most pies) can be sold from domestic kitchens. New rules will take effect in six months. During that time state officials will not actively seek out violators.
New Domestic Kitchen Rules:
- Kitchen must have stainless steel or ceramic surfaces and adequate cleaning facilities to be used for food manufacturing.
- Required to have a separate hand-washing facility which can be in a nearby bathroom.
- Must take food-safety training.
- Any kitchen under 1,000 square feet will need to obtain a $50 permit and be inspected by the state.