Just in time for the farmer's market season, a series of Purdue University online workshops will provide up-to-date information for entrepreneurs selling food products from their own kitchens or gardens.
"Cooking Up a Food Business in the Home Kitchen: Opportunities and Challenges of Starting or Growing a Home-Based Vendor Food Enterprise" will address issues of safety and profitability in three weekly webcasts beginning March 20. The webcasts will be streamed live online, so viewers can watch at home or at their local Purdue Extension office. Locally, the program is being offered at the LaGrange County Office Building. The sessions will also be available as recordings.
Topics will cover legal requirements for home-based food businesses, basic food science and microorganism control, tools and techniques to improve quality and safety, safe preparation practices in the home kitchen, and safe handling practices at farmers' markets and roadside stands.
“In our current economic situation, people are looking for options,” said Katie Clayton, Extension outreach specialist in Purdue University's Department of Food Science. “This webinar is a great opportunity for people to explore the option of a home-based food business and to learn the legal limits and requirements of running that business.”
The webinar's introductory session on food science is helpful for new and experienced vendors alike. “Many vendors have been cooking for years, but there are a lot of things that people do just ‘because,’” Clayton said. “This session will help people to understand from a science standpoint why they need to do things in certain ways and not just because Mom said so.”
More information and registration forms can be found online at http://www.ag.purdue.edu/foodsci/Pages/extension.aspx or by contacting the LaGrange County Extension Office.
The registration fee covers all sessions, with no fee for additional attendees from the same household.