Page 29 - Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors

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What Kind of Facility Do
You Need?
While working on product development, you also
need to be thinking about your production facilities.
The following should be considered:
where you plan to sell your product
availability of facilities in your community
amount of money you have to invest in buildings
and equipment
long range plans for growth
Home Kitchens
If you prepare your product in your home kitchen,
you are limited as to where you can sell the product.
Alberta Approved Farmers’ Markets are your only
Farmers’ markets have restrictions on types of foods
that can be sold, and regulations for the safe
handling of the food. For example, no one can offer
for sale home canned foods other than jam, jelly,
pickles and relish. Pickles and relishes are products
prepared from vegetables and fruits with salt, sugar
and/or vinegar. Pickles include cucumbers, green
pepper, beets, carrots, mushrooms, kimchi,
sauerkraut, green tomatoes and onions. Relishes are
a combination of these products. Other products
need prior approval from the regional health
Foods that may be sold include fresh vegetables and
fruit and potentially non-hazardous home prepared
food, such as: breads, buns, muffins, fruit leather and
dry soup starters. Potentially hazardous foods can
only be sold at farmers’ markets if they have been
prepared and packaged by or in a facility that has a
food establishment permit.
Farmers’ market requirements are a part of the Food
Regulation (AR 31/2006) of the Public Health Act.
Check with the regional health authority for
complete details.
Food Establishment
Permitted Facilities
If you want to expand sales beyond the farmers’
market, or if your product does not qualify for
farmers’ market sales, you will need to explore other
facility options. To sell food products in retail or to
food service establishments, you must produce your
product in a facility that has a food establishment
permit issued by the regional health authority.
It is important to explore alternatives for food
establishment permitted facilities. One option is to
develop a separate area in your home. Another
option is to rent commercial space. The third
alternative is to build a processing plant.
Home-based Food
A home-based food establishment must be separate
from your domestic kitchen. You must have a way to
keep your domestic food activities completely
separate from your business. Restrictions and
regulations on operating a home-based food business
vary with the municipality. Zoning regulations and
the impact on your neighbors will be considered.
You may or may not be required to submit plans to
get a development permit. Before you can begin
operating you will be required to get a food
establishment permit from the health authority in
your area.