Can I get my commercial kitchen certified for others to use for organic production?

« Return to all FAQs

Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »

No, it doesn't help others and isn't required in order for someone else to make organic products in your commercial kitchen. Shared kitchens cannot be certified separately from the product produced in them. Facilities, including shared kitchens, are part of the process of making the products, so the people who use your kitchen must include the kitchen as the production facility in their own certification application, as if it were their own factory.

There are other things you can do to make the process easier for the people who want to rent your commercial kitchen to make certified organic products. You can develop a list of allowed cleaners and sanitizers for use by everyone on all food-contact surfaces in the kitchen. Most standard cleaners are allowed as long as all residues are removed. The sanitizers that present the most problems are those containing quaternary ammonia, because they are designed to leave residue, which must be removed and may need to be tested for residue when used in organic production. You can set standard procedures for use of cleaners and sanitizers and give the list of allowed products to any of the people who are applying for organic certification.

You can also develop pest control procedures that meet organic standards and provide them in writing to any of the people who are applying for organic certification for their products. These procedures should be based on prevention because requirements for eradication of pests are very restrictive. The pest control restrictions pertain to inside the facility, but good pest control around the outside of the building can prevent many problems. If you contract with a pest control company you might want to look for one that already has experience with certified organic facilities.