The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services are partnering to support farm friendly legislation.  House Bill 391 and Farmers Market Legislation allow Kentucky farmers who grow and harvest produce to use their home kitchens to process value-added products, which may then be sold at registered farmers markets, certified roadside stands, or the processor’s farm. There are two separate processing categories in HB 391, Homebased Processor and Homebased Microprocessor.  Persons wishing to sell both types of products must register for both programs.  To qualify under either program, the final product must contain a primary or predominant ingredient which is a fruit, vegetable, nut or herb that is grown by the farmer in Kentucky.

Homebased Processors

Homebased processorHomebased Processors may produce and sell low risk products such as fruit jams, jellies and syrups, fruit butters, baked goods, prepackaged mixed greens or herbs, and dried fruits, vegetables, nuts or herbs.  There is no fee associated with becoming a Homebased Processor and no workshop attendance or recipe approval is required. However, Homebased Processors must register each year with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services/Food Safety Branch, submit verification of an approved water source, and follow labeling requirements.  Additional information and application forms are available from Jeff Lunsford at the Food Safety Branch, 502-564-7181 or jeff.lunsford@ky.gov.

Homebased Microprocessors

Homebased microprocessorHomebased Microprocessors may sell higher risk products such as canned tomatoes, pickled fruits and vegetables, salsas, barbecue sauce, pepper or herb jellies, herbal vinegars, low- or no-sugar jams and jellies, and pressure-canned vegetables.  The first step to becoming certified as a Homebased Microprocessor is to attend a Homebased Microprocessor (HBM) workshop presented by the University of Kentucky.  The cost of the workshop is $50.00.  Next, recipes for all products to be sold under the program must be submitted to the University of Kentucky for approval, at a fee of $5.00 per recipe.  Proof of workshop completion, approved recipes, draft labels for all products, and verification of an approved water source are then attached to the application for HBM certification and sent to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services/Food Safety Branch, along with a $50.00 certification fee. Once full HBM certification is received from the Food Safety Branch, it is up to the Homebased Microprocessor to follow approved recipes and recommended safe canning procedures in producing their value-added products.  The $50.00 certification fee must be paid to the Food Safety Branch each year that the Homebased Microprocessor wishes to sell under the program.  Questions should be directed to Debbie Clouthier at 859-257-1812 or debbie.clouthier@uky.edu.

Commercial Food Manufacturing Permit

If the processor does not grow a primary ingredient of their value-added product, a Commercial Food Manufacturing Permit is required.  Foods manufactured under this permit must be produced in a permitted kitchen that meets commercial food manufacturing requirements.  The Commercial permit allows sales from additional locations beyond those open to Homebased Processors and Microprocessors.  These locations/venues include restaurants, grocery stores, gift shops, wholesale, interstate, and internet sales.  Farmers markets, roadside stands, and the processor’s farm are still included as allowable sales locations.  For more information on obtaining a Commercial Food Manufacturing Permit, visit the Kentucky Food Safety Branch website or contact Mark Reed, 502-564-7181 or Mark.Reed@ky.gov