Co-packers are food processors that have extra manufacturing capacity and offer their services for a fee. This is often an attractive option for people starting in the food business. The product and its package must be matched to the co-packer and its available equipment. Co-packers often offer additional services such as product development (often critical to scaling up the volume of product produced), label review, and regulatory compliance.
- Choosing and Using a Co-Packer (NC State University) (PDF 26 KB)
- Co-Packers Database (UC Davis Food Safety). This database provides a partial list of co-packers with an emphasis on those located in California, with a link to a nationwide listing.
- Small Co-Packers in the northeastern United States (Cornell University) Information on Co-Packers/Commercial kitchens in 14 northeastern U.S. States.
- Food Processing: Using a Co-Packer (Oklahoma Cooperative Extension) (PDF 43 KB)
Filling Machines for the Smaller Food Processing Operation (Kansas State University) (PDF 29 KB) This brochure goes through some of the considerations important in purchasing a filling machine for use in a small food processing operation.
Providing Safe Containers for Food Products - Facts for Niche-Market Food Processors (Kansas State University) (PDF 25 KB) This brochure points out some of the important considerations in selection of food packaging containers.
- A Notice to Growers, Food Manufacturers, Food Warehouse Managers, and Transporters of Food Products About the Safety of Food Affected by Hurricanes, Flooding, and Power Outages (FDA)
- Guidance for Industry: A Notice to Growers, Food Manufacturers, Food Warehouse Managers, and Transporters of Food Products on Decontamination of Transport Vehicles (FDA)
- A Notice to Growers, Food Manufacturers, Food Warehouse Managers, and Transporters of Food Products on How to Dispose of Contaminated Food (FDA)
Food Allergies and Allergen Control Programs
- Components of an Effective Allergen Control Program – A Framework for Food Processors
- Food Allergy Research And Education (FARE)
- Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) (University of Nebraska)
- International Food Allergen Icons (IAFP) Easily understood, downloadable pictoral icons for many allergens, for use in the workplace or plant.
Food Entrepreneur Programs
- Cornell University: Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
- FoodCraft Institute (Non-Profit, Oakland, CA)
- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Resources for Starting Your Own Preserved Foods Business
- North Carolina State University: Entrepreneur Initiative for Food
- Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey: Rutgers Food Innovation Center
- University of Nebraska, Lincoln: The Food Processing Center
- Utah State University: Small Food Entrepreneur Food Safety
- Texas A & M University: Getting Started as a Food Processing Entrepreneur
Food Facility Registration
- Food Certificates, Licenses, and Registrations (CA Dept. of Public Health)
- Registration of Food Facilities (FDA)
- Registration of Meat and Poultry Handlers (USDA Food Safety Inspection Service) (PDF 391 KB) Meat and poultry facilities are under the jurisdiction of the USDA and require pre-market inspection and approval before production. (All forms here.)
Food Grade Materials
- Approximate pH Values of Various Foods (FDA)
- The pH and/or acidity of a food are generally used to determine processing requirements and applicability of specific regulations. The approximate ranges of pH values of common food products are compiled by the FDA in this table.
- Water Activity of Sugar and Salt Solutions (BC Centre for Disease Control) (PDF 90 KB)
Manufacturing Options (Advice from UC Davis Cooperative Extension Specialist Linda J. Harris)
- Food Recall Manual (University of Florida, AFDO, US Army) (PDF 1 MB) The appendices (pp. 99-152) contain free forms and information to walk the user through developing their own recall plan.
- FSANZ Food Industry Recall Protocol (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) (PDF 1.9 MB)
- FSANZ Food Recall Plan Template (Food Standards Australia New Zealand)
- Industry Guidance - Information on Recalls of FDA Regulated Products (FDA)
- Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts (FDA)
- Recall Plans - Manufacturer's Guide (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
Regulations for Food Products
- Bioterrorism Act
- FDA Resources for Starting a Food Business (FDA)
- California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch
- International Food Information Council's (IFIC) "Ensuring a Safe Food Supply: A Concise Guide to Food Regulation in the U.S." (PDF 231 KB)
- Manufacturing Standards For Infant Formula - Final Rule, 6/9/14 (FDA)
Reportable Food Registry
- Basic Elements of a Sanitation Program for Food Processing and Food Handling (University of Florida) (PDF 41 KB)
- Basic Elements of Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing in Food Processing and Handling Operations (University of Florida) (PDF 105 KB)
- Guidelines for the Use of Chlorine Bleach as a Sanitizer in Food Processing Operations (Oklahoma State University) (PDF 902 KB)
- Sanitary Design and Construction of Food Equipment (University of Florida) (PDF 481 KB)
- Sanitary Design and Construction of Food Processing and Handling Facilities (University of Florida) (PDF 124 KB)
- Water: FDA guidance for use of water by food manufacturers in areas affected by a boil-water advisory (FDA)
Shelf Life Testing and Date Labeling
- Use-by dates for food (NSW Australia Food Authority) (PDF 275 KB)
Specific Food Products: Labels and Regulations
- Acidified Foods
- Water: Article on FDA Bottled Water Regulations (PDF 83 KB)
- Canned Foods: (California Cannery Inspection Program)
- Fruit and Vegetable Juices
- Jams, Jellies, and Preserves
- Meat and Poultry
- Olive Oil: Microbiological Food Safety (Palumbo & Harris, UC Davis) (PDF 202 KB)
- Refrigerated Foods