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Processing and Packing

2446 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  AstroBee
I am ready to turn my garage into a processing and packaging base. I have some floor plans from the Hive and the Honey Bee what would be essential "stations" in your opinions.
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A three bowl stainless steel sink. Plenty of storage for glass wear and other product.
Great start thanks! I am going to hit a used restaurant equipment site or two.

Why a three bowl sink?

Standard Health Dept requirement, Paul.

Let's see, how about an addition. You never will have all the space you need. Just seems to work out that way. By processing do you mean extracting? Or is "processing and packing" just straining stored honey and then bottling it. Keep "processing and packing" separate from extracting as much as possible.

-Water, hot and cold
-Good lighting
-Good ventilation
-More electric than you think you need (I have two Maxant Bottling tanks on the same wall and can't run them on outlets on that wall. Breaker isn't heavy enough.)
-Floor drains are nice.
-Washable walls are nice
-Tables and shelves for labeling jars and for storing labels and stuff.
-Shelves to store boxes of caps
-Space to store empty jar inventory, maybe on pallets on the floor
-Space to put full jar inventory for bottling ahead in anticipation of sales

See? Already filled your garage. :) You'll figure out what you need and what you can do w/out. [just between you and me, a two basin kitchen sink is ideal for washing 5 gallon buckets. i wouldn't worry about a three bowl sink.]
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Each state as their own requirements. I'd make sure that whatever you decide to do is compliant with the rules in your state.
The interpretation of these rules vary by inspector as well. Honey is generally the lowest risk type of food to deal with and not every inspector is likely to tell you that you need the same setup.
The rules also vary depending if all product will be sold directly from you to consumers (retail) or 80 you will be selling to/through stores or vendors...and even if the wholesale will cross state lines. I'd start by meeting with your local city/town health department. It does no good to follow the letter of the law to the best of your ability if the person who signs the paper wants you to do something else.
Dean, or if you buy and sell someone else's honey too, right?

Why a three bowl sink? I have worked in commercial kitchens, three bowls, allows for soaking, wash and rinse.

just my opinion
I'd start by meeting with your local city/town health department.
I think this also varies state to state. In VA local cities have virtually no control over certifying processing facilities. Now if you want to legally form business, then yes cities will be involved. I've found that in regards to bees and producing/selling honey, the more "local" the government the more difficult to deal with.
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