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Bottling Chocolate Sauce: Food Safety Rules?


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Hi everyone! Got a question on producing chocolate sauce for shelf life and meeting food safety rules.


Our chocolate sauce recipe base is cacao powder water and sugar.


I'm under the impression that under food safety rules this would be considered a TCS food and is therefore subject to the "Refrigerate for 7 Days then Discard" rule, but maybe I'm wrong?


One of our nationally distributed competitors sells a chocolate sauce with basically the same base ingredients, as I imagine most would, with a notation to "Refrigerate After Opening."


What does one need to do in order to produce a chocolate sauce considered shelf stable until opening, and legally package it for sale?


And would it require filing a HACCP plan?


It seems virtually impossible to find information on doing anything like this online. Everything is either geared towards Cottage Food Rules or Mass Manufacturing Plant regulations.


We just have a small commercial kitchen and want to be able to sell products safely and legally. Our Health Inspector is a nice guy, but he seems to not always really understand the ins and outs of things, so I hesitate to contact him with questions unless I'm already armed with the information that he can then run up the chain for me.


Thanks so much!

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I would consider reaching out to your local SBDC or university extension program. They're likely to have the information you are looking for on hand and will help you for free. It depends how and where you are planning to sell it, number of bottles produced, local regulations, and then you have to consider testing for the nutrition label, aw, etc. For the possible HACCP plan - your local health inspector or department of health might have access to this program "Food decision software" which has templates for all sorts of different documents, recall plans, etc.


This might help re labeling requirements.


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