Good news! CA Dept. Public Health, the group tasked with developing a food processor course for Cottage Food Operators, has decided that until they have more time to design a class, we only need to get a food handler’s card. Here’s what is interesting… most of the state approved classes are not approved for San Diego County’s food handler cards. SEE IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW
At this time, only The National Restaurant Association ServSafe courses are approved by BOTH the state AND San Diego County. Cottage Food Sandie suggests getting a ServSafe food handler’s card to be sure you have one that is accepted by both state and local health departments. A link to online ServSafe classes ($15) is here. Can’t take it online? Four hour classroom training is also available around the county.There are less expensive ($10) and more expensive ($17) classes on the state list and classes are available in several languages.
The Homemade Food Act AB1616 requires that you (as the Operator), your employee, and/or any household members involved in making or packaging food complete a food processor course within three months of getting registered or permitted. The state requires they be American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited organizations (listed here). Again, though, the only ones for San Diego county that are ANSI accredited are through the National Restaurant Association (ServSafe).
Usually food handler’s cards must be renewed every three years. However, for a cottage food operation, the individual only has to take and pass the class once. The expiration date will not apply to the Cottage Food Operation. Read the state health department announcement here: CFO Training
Important!UPDATE: For CFOs in San Diego County, there are two options…the Online option for ANY of the state approved classes (see list here) OR any of the classroom trainings available through San Diego County approved courses (scroll down page to see list here)