Gayle (PlayingWithDough Cookies) posted:

Hi!  I am hoping/trying to set up a Cottage Food Operation (CFO) in California for my cookies. I thought I had everything lined up, and have just been told that California doesn't allow meringue powder (or similar) in icing. I have truly cried, it makes me so sad! And I have heard this is not unique to California. It makes absolutely no sense to me that it is allowed in a professional kitchen and not in a home kitchen. Professional kitchen rental is just too expensive for a startup ($400+/mo).

I'm sure that many of you have knowledge of what has been argued/tried before with various state health organizations to try to change this -- I'd love to get your input. Maybe some of you in California can join me in trying to see what we can do to influence this? I mean if one lined up a brownie, muffin, and royal iced cookie, we all know the cookie would last the longest!

Thanks for any input!!

Hi Gayle

i am also another California cottage fooder who is concerned about not being able to use MP. Do you have any others that are on board to help get the law changed? I am willing and ready to jump in the muddy waters with everyone to get this changed. If we can get funding from everyone to have this issue brought up for testing and then submitted. I’m ready!  

I've mentioned before that I'm willing to pitch in, too, to pay for testing or whatever to get MP approved. Gayle, have you had any updates to this issue? I've tried to contact some local ladies that I follow on instagram to ask how they are handling it as they are operating out of their homes. Two never replied (probably afraid to) and one was vague and never said what she's doing. I think they are lying about using MP, but that wouldn't be smart if there's an incident where they might need to use their insurance. And they would have to leave MP off their food labels. This is so frustrating  because I want to do the right thing. I also want to keep my business small so renting kitchen space would be too expensive and would defeat the purpose of working from home when I can make the time. I'm praying it will be approved on the next list - December, I believe?

 

 

 

DIYDiva posted:
Mari Alvaro posted:

I came upon this post as I too was denied for listing meringue powder in my royal icing 😡 (I totally thought this had already been approved). I am ready to lead the charge on this. I am in the process of seeing what needs to be done to get it tested and submitted to the state. Sounds like testing (at least the initial round) is not too expensive. But more in depth testing will start to add up. I will update as I get more information. Just started calling people today. Send your prayers, mojo, good juju, whatever your belief is. We’re going to need as much positive energy as possible 

Thank you, Mari Alvaro, for taking up the charge.  If you do get to the point of needing to raise money for testing, perhaps some of us California girls can chip in.

I would be more than happy to chip-in towards testing. This is absurd, the longer I live in CA the less I like it here.   

Sandra Bill Leyba posted:
Gayle (PlayingWithDough Cookies) posted:

Hi!  I am hoping/trying to set up a Cottage Food Operation (CFO) in California for my cookies. I thought I had everything lined up, and have just been told that California doesn't allow meringue powder (or similar) in icing. I have truly cried, it makes me so sad! And I have heard this is not unique to California. It makes absolutely no sense to me that it is allowed in a professional kitchen and not in a home kitchen. Professional kitchen rental is just too expensive for a startup ($400+/mo).

I'm sure that many of you have knowledge of what has been argued/tried before with various state health organizations to try to change this -- I'd love to get your input. Maybe some of you in California can join me in trying to see what we can do to influence this? I mean if one lined up a brownie, muffin, and royal iced cookie, we all know the cookie would last the longest!

Thanks for any input!!

Hi Gayle

i am also another California cottage fooder who is concerned about not being able to use MP. Do you have any others that are on board to help get the law changed? I am willing and ready to jump in the muddy waters with everyone to get this changed. If we can get funding from everyone to have this issue brought up for testing and then submitted. I’m ready!  

Sandra, I’m in. 

Has anyone tried using straight egg white powder? Even calling it egg white protein powder (as it's very commonly sold?). I do not make cookies or royal icing, but do use egg white protein powder in my products, and I'm hoping this ingredient would pass under the cottage law. I have yet to apply (moving to Cali soon though). Any thoughts? 

 

calivibes posted:

Has anyone tried using straight egg white powder? Even calling it egg white protein powder (as it's very commonly sold?). I do not make cookies or royal icing, but do use egg white protein powder in my products, and I'm hoping this ingredient would pass under the cottage law. I have yet to apply (moving to Cali soon though). Any thoughts? 

 

Yes, I have and it works great. However, if California does not allow meringue powder, I can't see why they would allow egg white powder, which is an ingredient of meringue powder and likely the ingredient they are most concerned about. (I'm not sure why, as the whites are dehydrated, and all risk of salmonella has been virtually eliminated . . . but I long ago stopped trying to understand the irrational behavior of bureaucrats! )

I also figured the eggwhite is what they're worried about the MP, but thinking if those concerned in this thread chose to use the words "egg white protein powder" on their application, perhaps that would pass by the system. As you mentioned, it is irrational, so why not try that and see if they let it slip?

 

Hi Erica, There is a form you can download to request the state add a product to their approved list.  We are hoping that enough of us do it, they'll take action.  But, in the meantime, I've been looking at alternatives.  I've been told about using Aquafaba (chickpea brine).  It's what vegans use as a substitute for eggs.  I guess the proteins in it act the same as eggs.  People who use it say it works the same.  So I've ordered some off Amazon, but just found out you can just buy a can of the chickpeas and use the liquid. (There are recipes online.) Some people said that they were approved with it.  But, I heard today from someone that they heard there may be issues (although, I cannot imagine what).  Anyway, that's something I'm looking into as a backup.  (I've heard some in my county (Riverside) say they've been approved with meringue and others say not. Just today, though, Erin Criminale (who has replied to this thread), posted on Facebook about cooked RI being approved.  You simply bring the meringue powder and water to a temperature of 155° prior to adding the sugar (per Alameda Health Insp. requirement).  I hope that's true in all counties.  She also posted an article about cooked RI being creamier.  So, it sounds like a win-win.  

You're all not alone! I'm in Arizona, currently scrambling to find a sub for meringue powder as well because it is not allowed here either. I'm not about to pay for a commercial kitchen for 10 hours so my cookies can sit there and dry for 8 of them . Arizona suggests using soaked chia seeds, soaked flax seeds, or corn syrup and sugar. I also can't get anyone locally to respond to me about what they do, I feel like the kid nobody wants to play with at recess. As far as I know, Arizona doesn't have a request form to add anything to their approved list either, so I'm hoping we can all find something that works soon!

 

This whole thing is just ridiculous. And I feel you on feeling alone. I definitely feel like the new kid know one wants to play with also. California has a request firm and they add to it twice a year; January and June however; it appears MP has been requested for years and continues to get denied. Really trying to go about things the right way but oh man they make it so hard

DIYDiva posted:

Hi Erica, There is a form you can download to request the state add a product to their approved list.  We are hoping that enough of us do it, they'll take action.  But, in the meantime, I've been looking at alternatives.  I've been told about using Aquafaba (chickpea brine).  It's what vegans use as a substitute for eggs.  I guess the proteins in it act the same as eggs.  People who use it say it works the same.  So I've ordered some off Amazon, but just found out you can just buy a can of the chickpeas and use the liquid. (There are recipes online.) Some people said that they were approved with it.  But, I heard today from someone that they heard there may be issues (although, I cannot imagine what).  Anyway, that's something I'm looking into as a backup.  (I've heard some in my county (Riverside) say they've been approved with meringue and others say not. Just today, though, Erin Criminale (who has replied to this thread), posted on Facebook about cooked RI being approved.  You simply bring the meringue powder and water to a temperature of 155° prior to adding the sugar (per Alameda Health Insp. requirement).  I hope that's true in all counties.  She also posted an article about cooked RI being creamier.  So, it sounds like a win-win.

Hi! Thanks for the reply! I considered trying the aquafaba but I thought someone mentioned they were denied because it’s not on the approved list, but I’ll definitely look into it. I’ll look into the RI also. I’m a newbie and feel like I’m finally comfortable with my recipe and it’s driving me mad that I can’t use it lol. I’m going to look at the article posted on FB. Thank you for the info

Just looked up ARIZONA'S Cottage Food Laws...  this must have changed in the past couple of years.  We have a lot of cookiers here in Arizona... has anyone stopped using Meringue Powder?

 

Frosting and Seasonal Foods

Here is the scoop: frostings, icings, and fillings must be shelf-stable, not require refrigeration, and should not support the growth of microorganisms. They cannot contain dairy items like milk, cream, butter, margarine, egg, whipping cream, cream cheese, or meringue powder. Dairy alternatives that require refrigeration (plant “milks”, aquafaba, vegan butter) are also not allowed.

Some potential substitutions can be found in the table below. You can use these substitutions or any other substitutions that do not require refrigeration after opening or reconstituting. Remember that some items that are shelf-stable in the grocery store aren’t shelf-stable after opening, including vegan ingredients like soy milk or coconut milk.

For...Instead of...Try...
Royal icingMeringue Powder
Eggs
Soaked Chia Seeds
Soaked Flax Seeds
Corn Syrup and Sugar
ButtercreamButterShortening
Coconut Oil
Ghee (Clarified Butter)
GanacheCreamBeer
Coffee
Pureed Fruit
OtherFlavored Bakery Emulsions
Cashew Frosting (Those with Coconut Oil, Not Those with Plant “Milks”)

Examples of approved icings include: confectioners’ sugar icing, candy clay, glazes, gum paste, and fondant.

Food products not approved under the Home Baked and Confectionery Goods Program (including food products that have unapproved frostings, fillings, or icings) fall under county regulation, and must be prepared in a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen.

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