How to Start Your Own Salsa Business - Chapter 4
OK, we have our salsa recipe with a PH of around 4.0 or less, and definitely less than 4.6. We have a place to produce our salsa, and we have taken the FDA required classes. Now what, well it's time to talk to the MN Dept of Agriculture (MDA). Check with the licensing requirements in your state, but here in Minnesota, The MDA handles the licensing of a salsa manufacturing business. You will work with the inspector that handles your area, he or she will meet with you at your production facility and issue you your license. It is a good idea to find out who this person is and get to know them early on in this process, as they can be of enormous help in directing your efforts.
Once you are licensed, you can start making salsa that can be sold to grocery stores or sold online. Here in Minnesota, if you are just going to sell your salsa at farmers markets, you do not need a manufacturers license. You do however, need to know the PH of your salsa and have the records documenting the PH level with you while selling your salsa at the farmers market. And again, the PH needs to be below 4.6 and preferably 4.0 or lower.
OK, now that we are ready to start making salsa, what are we going to put it in. The canning jars with the 2 piece lid won't work if your selling to a grocery store. You will need either a jar with a lug cap, or a jar with a continuous thread cap. I prefer the jar with the lug cap because it seals the jar better after it has been opened. Also, make sure your lids have the safety button in the middle. It will give you piece of mind that your jars have sealed properly when the buttons pop downward. This popping of the button is from the vacuum that forms from putting hot (200 degrees or more) salsa into a clean jar and sealing it with a clean lug cap.
We turn our jars upside down after filling them so that the heat of the product heats the plastisol liner in the lid. After 15 minutes, we turn the jars right side up and allow them to cool. The jars should start popping in 90 - 120 minutes. If a jar does not pop, it is not sealed. You will need to determine why the jar didn't pop. We will discuss this in chapter 5.
Experience " Salsa Perfection"