Well, I am so happy to report that my application to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) for a home based food operation has cleared its first hurdle! Yaay!!
The application contains about sixty to seventy recipes, most with “variations.” As the state’s Food Safety Laws are rather explicit as to what types of items can be safely prepared and sold from a home based food operation, I was pleased that the application sailed through without a single question from VDACS.
This sets the stage for Part 2 of the process. Next, a VDACS field inspector will come to the farm, look over the property for proper well and septic installations, and inspect the kitchen for cleanliness. In addition, he will observe my business processes for baking (ie, sanitation practices, baking methodology, etc). Lastly, he will take samples of some of my baked goods and send them off to a lab to check for impurities. And, once that is completed, and my kitchen gets a clean bill of health, so to speak, VDACS will assert that Bellington Farm is able to produce and sell baked items.
So, the process is a lengthy one. However, persons buying from VDACS inspected kitchens have the assurance that the state has approved the kitchen and owner as being able to produce food that is safe to eat. And that makes it TOTALLY WORTH IT !!