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Helping local food entrepreneurs meet state regulations

October 16, 2013

As farmers' market season winds down, Colorado State University will offer its first online Cottage Foods Training to prepare local food entrepreneurs for next year's popular harvest time.

Cottage Foods Act

farmers' market vegetablesDesigned for anyone selling foods created in their home/farm directly to the consumer, the Cottage Foods Training was developed in response to the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, which became law as of March 15, 2012. The Act requires “producers to take a food safety course that includes basic food handling training.” CSU’s online course meets this stipulation, helping local entrepreneurs understand the new state regulations for food safety standards. In fact, the Colorado State training is specifically mentioned in the bill as an example to which other qualifying training must be comparable to.

Beginning Oct. 21

CSU’s three week, online food safety course begins October 21, and is still open for registration. The curriculum specifically addresses high altitude environments, specific to the Rocky Mountain Region, and covers the basics of safe food handling.

Students learn from CSU Extension professionals from across the state, led by Dr. Marisa Bunning from Colorado State University Extension and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. The course will explore three relevant topics with an assessment of understanding at the end of each week.


  • Food safety guidelines
  • Food categories
  • Storing and transporting foods
  • Shelf life of baked products
  • Storage of dehydrated products

“Food safety is critical in all food production operations, no matter how small,” explains Dr. Bunning. “Understanding and following recognized safe practices is the best strategy for protecting your customers and your business. The more you know about basic food safety principles, the more control you will have over the safety and reputation of your product,” she said.

More information

Interested food entrepreneurs can visit the website for more information and to register for the upcoming training.