Cottage Foods - pH Testing

Food safety is at the heart of the trust your friends, family, and valued customers put in your products. One of the key indicators of whether your pickling process is working as you intend is pH testing to measure the acidity of your finished product. 

** Notice: Funding for free pH testing has been exhausted. You can still have your product(s) tested at our Lab, but it will be at your own expense. We plan to resume the free testing program on or after July 1, 2018. **

Although foodborne botulism is rare, it is commonly associated with homemade pickled fruit and vegetable products that have pH levels specifically above 4.6 because these levels create the perfect environment for harmful toxins to grow and when consumed can cause foodborne botulism. The chance of this occurring can be greatly minimized by having your pickled fruit and vegetable products tested. 

If you choose to have your product tested, the results will validate your standardized, personal, or family recipe(s) and verify a finished equilibrium pH of 4.6 or below. Results will be mailed directly to you and will confirm if your recipe is just right or prompt you to make adjustments to assure the safety of your product for your customers. 
 
Submit your product for pH testing
Find out how to submit your Cottage Food products for pH testing. Refer to the table below to determine product eligibility. 
 
Eligible to be
sold under the Act
Not allowed to be
sold under the Act
Chutney Barbeque sauce
Kimchi Canned/stewed fruits
(packed in water)
Pickled fruits
Pickled vegetables Canned/stewed vegetables
(packed in water)
Pickles
Relish Hot sauce
Sauerkraut Juice
Vinegar (fruit/vegetable) Ketchup
  Kombucha
  Mustard
  Paste
  Salad dressing
  Salsa
  Sauce (i.e, pizza, pasta, chili)
  Spread