University of Maryland Extension

Facilities

A food processing facility is anywhere food for human consumption is processed or prepared, whether a farm, factory, slaughterhouse, packing plant, dairy, shared-use kitchen, or home kitchen. Regulations often refer only to “food processing plants.” Facilities are licensed or permitted to handle specific types of food production and sales, such as direct-to-consumer, retail, or wholesale. The facility license correlates to the type of food processing the facility is designed for, the type of equipment and infrastructure required, and the processes specified in food safety regulations.

Before you choose or invest in a food processing facility, contact the authorities that have jurisdiction over your product and process. Learn whether or not a facility license is required, the standards for any required license, and the limitations of the license. Get this information in writing. Do not proceed on the basis of a conversation with one person or on the basis of information on a website. Confirm your plans with appropriate state and/or federal agencies.

Resources

FDA Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/HACCP

FDA Registration of Food Facilities
http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FoodFacilityRegistration/default.htm

Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension
FAPC-104, Planning the Engineering Design of a Food Processing Facility
http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-974/FAPC-104web.pdf

Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension
FAPC-102, Food Technology Fact Sheet, Selecting and Purchasing Food Process Equipment
http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-979/FAPC-102web.pdf

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