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Food Science Extension Outreach Program

Nutritional Labels, Process Approval, Consulting & Other Services

Nutritional Facts Panel for Your Food Product Label
Product Classification, Process Approval, pH and Brix Testing
Better Process Control School
Directions & Map to EFS Offices - Athens
Other Web Sites of Interest to Food Product Entrepreneurs
Flavor of Georgia Food Product Competition

Nutrition Facts Panel for Your Food Product Label

The federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires that packaged foods Sample Nutrition Facts Panelbear the nutrition facts panel unless the producer qualifies for an exemption. A small business may be exempt from displaying the Nutrition Facts Panel if: (1) the annual gross sales of food to consumers is less than $50,000, (2) it has fewer than 100 employees, and (3) sales of fewer than 100,000 units per year.
Note:
If any nutrient content claim (e.g., “low fat”) or health claim is made on the labeling or advertising of the product, the small business exemption is not applicable. 

Keep in mind, however, that wholesale buyers may require that the nutrition facts panel be on the product label. Also, if you are getting a large number of your food product labels printed, it will save time and money to design the label with the nutrition facts panel in place.

A separate nutrition facts panel is required for each size of container or package. The EFS specialists will provide a nutrition facts panel in digital format ready to put into your label for a nominal fee. Please allow at least four weeks from the date we receive all of your information and payment. Additional time may be required for multiple products.

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Product Classification, Process Approval, pH and Brix Testing

The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) requires that certain types of food items offered for sale within the State of Georgia have a letter of process approval from a certified food process authority.

The process authority carefully examines the recipe for the item, the methods used to prepare, package and store the item, and the food safety precautions required to produce a safe product. Once the process is approved, a letter of process approval is sent to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Then GDA will send a letter of process certification for the product to you.

Some food product categories may be exempt from the process approval requirement because of the method of processing or certain critical limits as required by are met.  For  guidelines for food processing safety from GDA, click here.

The UGA EFS specialists offer product classification and process approval services to Georgia food businesses for a nominal fee.

Process Approval for Acidified Food Products (Pickles, Salsas, BBQ and Hot Sauces)

All acidified products placed into the marketplace must receive a letter of process approval from UGA, whether you plan to do the processing yourself or have a co-packer do it for you. This approval is required for any acid or acidified product (such as barbecue sauces, pickles, salsa, etc.) that is to be packaged in a sealed can /jar/bottle so that it will be shelf-stable at room temperature. Note: Someone who has received Better Process Control School training and certification (see our workshop calendar for the BPCS schedule) must be on duty whenever this type of product is being processed.

Process approval is not required for bakery items, refrigerated goods, or most meat or poultry products. Once your process for this product is approved, a letter of process approval will be issued to the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Consumer Protection Division, who will then contact you.

Please allow at least four weeks from the date we receive all of your information and payment. Additional time may be required for multiple products.

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Product Classification

If you're not sure whether your product would be classified as an acid or acidified product, we can do that testing for you, too.

Please allow at least four weeks from the date we receive all of your information and payment. Additional time may be required for multiple products.

Co-Packers and Shared / Community Kitchens List

If you wish to have your product prepared by a co-packer that is inspected by either the Georgia Department of Agriculture or the local health department, we can provide a list of processors. This list in no way infers a recommendation of these establishments and is provided solely as a service to Georgia food product entrepreneurs. No guarantee or warranty by EFS is implied by this list. You should meet with several co-packers before making your decision - do your due diligence research, too. A good article on choosing a co-packer may be found here.

A commercial kitchen is a facility that is licensed or permitted by the Environmental Health Department or the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Food Service operations using the commercial kitchen will be regulated by the local Environmental Health Department (this would include catering operations) while food sales operations are regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The companies that produce food products in the commercial kitchen that fall under the Georgia Department of Agriculture's jurisdiction are each licensed separately.

This list of shared time or community kitchens has been compiled from information provided by inspectors of the Georgia Department of Agriculture Consumer Protection Division. Facilities regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture are required to have a Food Sales Establishment License.

If you have a certified packing facility or professional kitchen and would like to be added to our list, please complete this form and fax to the number on the form, or mail it, with photocopies of certificates. No guarantee or warranty by EFS is implied by this list.

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Better Process Control School

The Better Process Control School provides instruction which fulfills the FDA and USDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requirements to certify supervisors of acidification, thermal processing, and container closure evaluation operations during the canning of low-acid or acidified foods. Companies which manufacture low-acid or acidified foods must operate with a certified supervisor on the premises when processing as specified in FDA’s 21 CFR Part 108.25(f) and 108.35(g) or in USDA’s 9 CFR 318.200 and 281.300. The UGA Better Process Control School is typically offered in March each year. Please refer to our workshop calendar for more information. Other Better Process Control Schools are held around the country at various times during the year - search on Google for other courses.

Directions & Map to EFS Offices

UGA Food Science BldgNOTE: We do not have public parking available at the EFS office at this time! Please park in the South Campus parking deck beside the Georgia Center off Lumpkin Street and walk over to the Food Science Building (about six blocks).  Directions & Map
The UGA Orbit bus route stops at the Food Science Building on Cedar Street.

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Other Web Sites of Interest to Food Product Entrepreneurs

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Flavor of Georgia Food Product CompetitionFlavor of Georgia Food Product Competition

EFS co-sponsors this annual food product competition along with the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development at UGA. Click here to see previous winners and winning products.

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