June 2017
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Upcoming Events
  1. Preventive Controls for Nut Processors (PCQI Certification)

    July 18 - July 20
  2. Food Safety in Poultry Processing

    September 19 - September 21
  3. Certification for Food Safety Professionals

    October 10 - October 13
  4. Better Process Control School for Acidified Foods

    November 7 - November 9
 

Services

SERVICES FOR

FOOD PROCESSORS

Hello, food entrepreneur!

 

We appreciate you visiting Extension Food Science at the University of Georgia. We hope the following resources will help you get started with your food business.

If you plan to process and package the food product yourself in a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen facility, you may need to get a process approval. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) requires that certain types of food items offered for sale within the State of Georgia have a letter of process approval from a certified food processing authority, like the UGA Extension Food Science specialists.

The process authority carefully examines the recipe, the methods used to prepare, package and store the item, and the food safety precautions required to produce a safe product. Once the process is approved, a letter of process approval is sent to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Then GDA will send a letter of process certification for the product to you.

Some food product categories may be exempt from the process approval requirement because of the method of processing or certain critical limits as required by are met.  Please review the GDA’s guidelines for food processing safety.

The UGA Extension Food Science specialists offer process approval services to Georgia food businesses for a nominal fee.

The Latest Process Approval Form

Please open this PDF with Adobe Reader and ‘Submit’ once completed.

Payment Calculation Form (In-State)*

Please do not e-mail this form; print and fax, or mail it.
*Sorry, this service is not available for companies outside of Georgia.

If you are not sure whether your product would be classified as an acid or acidified food product, we can do this testing for you. Please allow at least four weeks from the date we receive all of your information and payment. Additional time may be required for multiple products.

Product Classification Form

Please open this PDF with Adobe Reader and ‘Submit’ once completed.

Payment Calculation Form (In-State)

Please do not e-mail this form; print and fax, or mail it.

Payment Calculation Form (Out-of-State)

Please do not e-mail this form; print and fax, or mail it.

The federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires that packaged foods bear nutrition labeling unless they qualify for an exemption. A small business may be exempt from displaying the Nutrition Facts Panel if: (1) the annual gross sales of food to consumers is less than $50,000, (2) it has fewer than 100 employees, and (3) sales of fewer than 100,000 units per year. Note: If any nutrient content claim (e.g., “low fat”) or health claim is made on the labeling or advertising of the product, the small business exemption is not applicable.

Keep in mind, however, that wholesale buyers may require that the nutrition facts panel be on the product label. Also, if you are getting a large number of your food product labels printed, it will save time and money to design the label with the nutrition facts panel in place.

A separate nutrition facts panel is required for each size of container or package. The Extension Food Science specialists will provide a nutrition facts panel in digital format ready to put into your label for a nominal fee.

Nutrition Facts Panel Form

Please open this PDF with Adobe Reader and ‘Submit’ once completed.

Payment Calculation Form (In-State)

Please do not e-mail this form; print and fax, or mail it.

Payment Calculation Form (Out-of-State)

Please do not e-mail this form; print and fax, or mail it.

Starting a New Food Business in Georgia

Starting a New Food Business in Georgia is an ALL NEW two-day workshop for food entrepreneurs taught by UGA and EFS specialists, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and FDA personnel. This new agenda gives participants a good background on the federal and state regulations for operating a food business, what you should know about safe processing and product testing, as well as an opportunity to talk with other specialty food business entrepreneurs.

Better Process Control School

This four-day food safety training course is offered in March by UGA specialists at the Extension Food Science training facilities on the UGA Campus in Athens. The Better Process Control School provides instruction which fulfills the FDA and USDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requirements to certify supervisors of acidification, thermal processing, and container closure evaluation operations during the canning of low-acid or acidified foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations requires that all acidified and low-acid processors of foods have someone on the premises who has successfully completed this training whenever food is being processed. A two and one-half-day course for acidified foods is also offered in November. Please see the EFS calendar for more information, links to online registration, and the workshop brochures.

Co-Packers and Shared/Community Kitchens List

If you wish to have your product prepared by a co-packer that is inspected by either the Georgia Department of Agriculture or the local health department, we can provide a list of processors. This list in no way infers a recommendation of these establishments and is provided solely as a service to Georgia food product entrepreneurs. No guarantee or warranty by EFS is implied by this list. You should meet with several co-packers before making your decision – do your due diligence research, too. You can refer to the article, Choosing and Using a Copackerfor help with this process.

A commercial kitchen is a facility that is licensed or permitted by the Environmental Health Department or the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Food Service operations using the commercial kitchen will be regulated by the local Environmental Health Department (this would include catering operations) while food sales operations are regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The companies that produce food products in the commercial kitchen that fall under the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s jurisdiction are each licensed separately.

This list of shared time or community kitchens has been compiled from information provided by inspectors of the Georgia Department of Agriculture Consumer Protection Division. Facilities regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture are required to have a Food Sales Establishment License.

If you have a certified packing facility or professional kitchen and would like to be added to our list, please complete this form and fax to the number on the form, or mail it, with photocopies of certificates. No guarantee or warranty by EFS is implied by this list.