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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI, DEM, DOH to host workshop on farm home food manufacturing

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 18, 2005 -- Farmers interested in using their home kitchens to process some of the food they grow for retail sale should plan to attend a workshop on farm home food manufacturing on April 26.

The workshop will be held in the USDA Conference Room, 60 Quaker Lane in Warwick from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is sponsored by the University of Rhode Island’s Cooperative Extension, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture, and the R.I. Department of Health’s Division of Food Protection.

A bill passed by the R.I. General Assembly in 2002 allows some farm-grown foods to be processed on site, including maple syrup, jams and jellies, breads, herbs and spices, and candy and fudge, but the legislation sets forth a variety of restrictions and regulations.

“Passage of what we call the ‘pie bill’ means that farmers don’t need to have full commercial kitchens to process some foods for retail sale,” said Lori Pivarnik, URI food safety specialist. “It gives the farmers another option for increasing the sustainability of their farm.”

The workshop will provide information on the regulations of home manufacturing, food safety issues, and liability and insurance issues associated with farm home food processing.

The deadline for registration is April 21. For more information or to register for the workshop, contact Martha Patnoad at 874-2960 or Lori Pivarnik at 874-2972.