Acidified or “pickled” foods are popular among American food entrepreneurs and processors interested in manufacturing and/or processing value-added food commodities. Acidified foods date back more than a thousand years as a way to produce high quality and safer food products. However, several foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years have resulted in several high profile and large-scale food recalls. Therefore, commercial acidified food processors must be vigilant about ensuring the safety of their products. An acidified food can pose a risk of botulism if the pH and other food safety factors are not carefully controlled during processing to prevent the germination of Clostridium botulinum spores and their subsequent growth and toxin formation. The vegetative cells of some spoilage bacteria, yeasts, and molds also can grow in an acidic environment and cause the pH of the food to increase, providing an opportunity for Clostridium botulinum spores to germinate. To prevent occurrence of any health hazard, food processors must be in compliance with regulations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state agriculture and health departments across the United States. The intent of this bulletin is to provide basic scientific principles and regulatory requirements for processing, manufacturing, and regulatory approval of acidified foods in Georgia. This guide contains step-by-step information on how to get started and includes forms and links with important contact information to help you along the way to becoming a licensed acidified food processor/manufacturer. Failure to adhere to these requirements may lead to the foods being deemed adulterated and subject to a state or federal recall.

Status and Revision History
Published on Nov 28, 2015

Anand Mohan Extension Coordinator and Associate Professor, Food Science & Technology
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