facilities and equipment

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Can I use a shared commercial kitchen to make my products?

Yes, certified organic operations can use shared commercial kitchens to make their products, but they must certify the kitchen for their own use. In your application – called an Organic System Plan (OSP) – you will explain how you keep your products separate from any non-organic products or materials in the kitchen. You will also describe how organic product contact surfaces and processing equipment are cleaned and sanitized.

Can I use an off-site storage facility to store and distribute my products?

Yes, you can use off-site storage facilities to store and distribute your products without having that location inspected or certified. Off-site storage facilities and distribution centers are not required to be certified as long as the products are packaged or otherwise enclosed in a container prior to being received or acquired. The product must remain in the same package and may not be relabeled, repacked, or processed in any way (including icing, ethylene, or controlled atmosphere) while in the control of the storage operation.

Can I use treated lumber for my replacement fence posts or to repair my barn?

No, you cannot use lumber treated with arsenate or other prohibited materials for new installations or replacement purposes in contact with soil or livestock. You may use treated lumber on parts of your property that are not included in your certification, or in areas where the lumber will not contact soil or livestock.

How do I control pests in my facility?

The National Organic Program (NOP) outlines a specific order of pest control methods in areas where organic products are processed, handled, or stored.

I process organic and non-organic products. What additional measures do I need to take?

You must protect organic integrity during receiving, storage, processing, packaging, and transportation. Many certified operations process both organic and non-organic products without any difficulty. These operations are referred to as “mixed” operations. Mixed operations are responsible for protecting organic ingredients and products throughout production. This is done by preventing commingling of organic and nonorganic ingredients and contamination of organic ingredients with prohibited sanitizers, processing aids, and pest control materials.

Should I inform CCOF if I am moving my operation to a new address?

Yes! Always submit changes that may affect compliance to CCOF for review. Changes to your facility location may require an update to your OSP and an additional inspection.

If your address is changing because your office or billing location has changed, simply complete the Equipment, Facility or Address Change Form and confirm that no organic storage, processing, or packaging occurs there.

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