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Colorado Springs CSU Extension office offers classes to certify people who want to sell homemade foods

May 15, 2018 Updated: May 15, 2018 at 7:47 am
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Teresa Farney March 7, 2013. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

Think you make the best salsa? Friends egging you on to bottle and sell your apricot preserves? Are those chicks you've raised mass-producing eggs?

If you'd like to set up a little business to sell some of those home-grown or produced goodies, Colorado State University Extension has your back. Just in time for the season of farmers markets, CSU is offering a class that will help you take it to the next level.

In 2012, the Legislature enacted the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, which allows people to sell certain types of "cottage food" products made in unlicensed home kitchens. Producers are required "to take a food safety course that includes basic food handling training and is comparable to, or is a course given by, the Colorado State University Extension Service or a state, county, or district public health agency."

To that end, CSU will offer two Colorado Cottage Food Producer training sessions this spring in El Paso County. They're designed for people who plan to produce a food product in their home kitchen to sell. Class participants will receive a booklet and a three-year certificate after passing the post-training test.

Here's what you will learn:

- Basic food safety, including proper hygiene; preventing cross contamination and cross contact of food allergens; and temperature control for safe food preparation, storage, transport and sales.

- Ingredient labeling and disclaimer requirements.

- Special considerations for food preparation at altitude.

- Resources and contact information.

- Foods permissible under the act, which include candies, certain baked goods, confections with alcohol intended as candy, packaged cotton candy, dehyradrated produce, dry cake mix, fruit butter, granola bars, jams, jellies, preserves, honey, nuts, roasted coffee beans, roasted nuts, roasted seeds, seeds, spices, teas and whole eggs.

The Colorado Springs City Council enacted a law in 2016 requiring residents to get a $60 Home Occupancy Permit to sell locally produced foods from dawn to dusk April through November. The permits are at the city's Planning Department, 30 S. Nevada Ave., Suite 105.

If you want to sell some homemade treats, the training sessions run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 31 or June 7 at the CSU Extension Service, 17 N. Spruce St. Cost is $40. Visit tinyurl.com/ycdm6zgc for tickets. Registration closes at noon May 30.

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