Jars of honey, jelly and jams
Updated: November 1, 2022

Welcome to the Food Processing in Maryland Module!

Food processing is the treatment of a food substance to change its properties to preserve it, improving its quality, or making it functionally more useful. For example, cheese, ice cream, hamburger, spaghetti sauce, chicken wings, bread, pie, maple syrup, and jam are processed foods. Food processing represents a business opportunity for Maryland farmers and entrepreneurs as it builds the state's economy, creates jobs, and gives consumers access to healthy foods.

Government food safety regulations require all food processing operations and their products to meet specific standards. Often the facility and/or the operator must be licensed. Food safety standards are the basis for licensing a food business. To get a license, the applicant must show they meet all standards established in food safety regulations. Federal, state, and local food safety inspectors interpret and enforce the regulations, as they apply to actual circumstances. Therefore food processors must know the standards they must meet to maintain a license and the government agencies that have jurisdiction over their license, product, and processing operations.

Helpful Resources for Food Processing in Maryland

Standards and Licensing
Agencies and Jurisdictions
Rules for Specific Foods
Cottage Food Business Law
Maryland Department of Health Office of Food Protection

General Resources

Explore Additional Food Processing Resources

Resources for Established Businesses

Beyond the Start-up–Growing Your Specialty Foods Business

Launching a specialty food business can be exciting and rewarding. Seeing your product sales grow and nurturing your entrepreneurial dreams can be very fulfilling. But scaling a specialty food business into a sustainable, profitable business requires advanced training and technical mentoring in the areas of:

  • Regulations
    • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
    • Record keeping
    • Recall Procedures
    • Preventive Controls
  • Product Development and Testing
  • Packaging and Labeling
  • Marketing

In an effort to supply resources and training materials, this section of the Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center is compiling a resource list of both private and public videos, articles, industry support agencies and facilities, and published training materials that support scaling up entrepreneurial food businesses. No endorsement is implied or exclusion intended and no guarantee of reliability is implied. This is by no means a complete listing of all organizations and associations servicing the specialty foods industry in Maryland.

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Regulations  Product Development and Testing  Package and Labeling  Recall Plans


Video Presentations


Federal Government

Food Rules and Regulations

Product Development and Testing

Package and Labeling

Recall Plans

The primary goal of a food recall is to protect public health by removing products from commerce that have been determined to be unsafe. A recall plan can aid in the execution of a recall by apportioning duties, centralizing current contact information, and providing pre-written templates for communications.