Selling Pickled, Canned, or Fermented Foods in Texas



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Types of Foods Allowed


The following types of canned, pickled, or fermented foods are allowed to be sold as homemade (cottage) foods beginning September 1, 2019:


  • Acidified canned plant-based foods with a finished equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or less that are thermally processed before being placed in an airtight container.
  • Pickled fruits or vegetables, including beets and carrots, that are preserved in vinegar, brine, or a similar solution at an equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or less.
  • Fermented vegetable products, including products that are refrigerated to preserve quality.  Fermented vegetable products are defined as "a low-acid vegetable food product subjected to the action of certain micro-organisms that produce acid during their growth and reduce the pH value of the food to 4.6 or less."

Recipes


If you are selling any of the above foods under the cottage food law, you must comply with the following:


  • Use a recipe that is from a source approved by Texas DSHS, or
  • Use a recipe that has been tested by an appropriately certified laboratory that confirmed the finished fruit or vegetable, product, or good has an equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or less, or
  • Use a recipe that is approved by a qualified process authority, or
  • If you do not use a recipe described above, you must test each batch of the recipe with a calibrated pH meter to confirm the finished fruit or vegetable, product, or good has an equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or less. 

Calibrated digital pH meters are widely available and inexpensive on Amazon.com.



Labeling and Record-Keeping


For each batch of pickled fruit or vegetables, fermented vegetable products, or plant-based acidified canned goods, a cottage food producer must:


1. Label the batch with a unique number; and

2. For a period of at least 12 months, keep a record that includes:

  • the batch number;
  • the recipe used by the producer;
  • the source of the recipe or testing results, as applicable; and
  • the date the batch was prepared

    

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