How to Start a Cake Business in PA

Hey Commonwealthers of Pennsylvania! You are one of the lucky ones who can legally set up a home-based bakery under the Food Safety Act passed in 2010.

The rules are as follows:
1. No animals/pets are permitted in the home at any time.
2. Children are not permitted in the kitchen area during food processing for the business.
3. The water supply serving the home must be from an approved supply. Private sources must be tested annually for coliform bacteria and Nitrate/Nitrite by the home owner.
4. Department approval may not be in conflict with any local zoning or ordinances. A written statement from the local municipality must be obtained stating such.
5. Registration and fee ($35.00) by the Department of Agriculture are required, no exemptions.
6. All ingredients must be separate from those for personal use (separate shelves,
separate cupboards, etc…) and must be properly labeled, stored and protected.
7. There must be restricted use of the home kitchen during any commercial processing.
8. Any required laboratory testing of food products is arranged for and paid for by the producer.
9. Products must be properly labeled as follows (with some labeling exemptions for baked goods):*Name of product

*Name and address of manufacturer
*Ingredients listed in decreasing order by weight
*Allergen declaration if needed
*Net weight or unit count3
10. Nutritional labeling must be included on food products being shipped / sold in interstate commerce. Home businesses may qualify for a small business exemption from nutritional labeling requirements by applying with FDA.
11. Processors must comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

There are a few additional rules for home bakers, particularly in regard to labelling:
Bakery items made and sold directly to a Commonwealth consumer by the baker (or their employee) do not require any labeling information directly on the products or any form of display of ingredients, but must be available upon request. All other baked goods (bake-off, purchased product) would require full labeling. Items sold at retail, not owned or operated by the baker; require one of the following forms of labeling:
(1) If products are in packaged form all required labeling information must be on the package
(2) Products loose and bulk displayed must have all required label information posted by the display
(3) Bakery items sold at establishments for consumption on the premises, such as a restaurant, require that the label information be available to the consumer upon request.

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