Rules & Regulations

Products that can be made at Blue Ridge Food Ventures

  • Learn the regulations for your food product or serviceLocate your proposed food product or service on this table of different food product regulations to determine if it can be made at BRFV, and which regulations will apply to your products. Study the regulations related to your product or service and then call the relevant agencies to confirm your understanding and gather more details. Links to all these regulations can be found in in the table above.

Packaged Foods

  • Your product may require inspection by the North Carolina Department of AgricultureIf you produce and package food in jars, bottles or bags, or as frozen or refrigerated items, or as baked goods, your product may come under one or more regulations and will be under inspection by the NC Department of Agriculture. A good source of information on rules and regulations for packaged foods is the Entrepreneur Initiative for Food (ei4f) from North Carolina State University. They are there to help North Carolina food entrepreneurs be successful.

Acidified Foods: A special type of Packaged Food 

  • Special regulations for acidified products. In addition to rules and regulations that cover all packaged foods, acidified foods such as pickles, tomato sauces and many hot sauces have to follow a special set of regulations due to their potentially hazardous nature. Go to the FDA website to learn more about them.

  • Pickle School is required! Everyone who plans to produce these foods must take a special class before they will be allowed to produce them at Blue Ridge Food Ventures. North Carolina State University regularly schedules these required classes, also known as "Pickle School.”  This link will inform you  when and where the next class will be offered.

  • Get your product tested. Each acidified food will need a scheduled process from a recognized processing authority (such as the lab at NCSU - 919-513-2090) and must file a form for each product with the FDA. Learn how to get your product tested here. You will learn how to do all this when you attend Pickle School.

Ready-to-Eat Foods / Mobile Foods

  • Rules for food trucks, caterers, festival stands, mobile food carts. The Environmental Health Division of the Buncombe County Department of Health is responsible for giving permits and inspecting food establishments that prepare food directly for customers, such as restaurants, food trucks, caterers, festival food stands, and mobile push carts. Get more information about the rules and details about getting your catering or mobile cart permit here. One of the requirements is that mobile units have a commercial kitchen to serve as their commissary.

  • Blue Ridge Food Ventures can serve as a “commissary.” We are available to food trucks, caterers and hot dog carts that need a commercial kitchen to prepare food or obtain clean water. If you wish to use Blue Ridge Food Ventures for your catering or mobile food business, first go the Buncombe County Health Center website to get all the forms needed to operate a food business. Then, make an appointment to discuss your food business plans with them, and obtain a permit.

  • Here's what we need from youYou will need to complete the application process at Blue Ridge Food Ventures, and will also need to provide us with a copy of your certificate from an approved food safety course, such as Serv-Safe or equivalent.

  • New North Carolina food codeOn September 1, 2012, significant changes to the Rules Governing the Sanitation of Food Service Establishments (restaurants, catering operations, mobile carts and trucks) came into effect for all food service establishments in NC. Anyone preparing food for retail consumption is required to follow the rules in the new NC Food Code. You are responsible for knowing the regulations and ensuring that you and all your employees are in compliance at all times.