I have recently decided to make my own hot sauce using home grown peppers, 4 simple ingredients (sugar, salt, apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic) and fresh fruits for flavoring. It turned out so well and I enjoyed it so much I have thought of setting up a grow station for the peppers in my house and making sauces of varying heat levels to attempt to sell locally here in Staunton, VA. Home sales and Farmers Markets are my main target at the moment (it’s still in the planning process, possibly up and running as early as next summer if all goes accordingly). I wasn’t able to find anything specifically about hot sauces, though I know they would need extra warning statements on the labels at least, and was wondering if anyone has any experience/insight into this kind of product. Would this fall under the vegetables with a pH of 4.6? Would I need inspections/ a business license? Who should I be contacting locally for city regulations on something of this nature?
Yes, hot sauces would be considered an acidified food, and as long as yours stays below a 4.6 pH, then you should be able to sell it with VA’s basic exemption. No inspection needed, but you may need a general business license. You can ask around at the farmers market to see if vendors needed anything else to sell from home, or the farmers market manager might know. You don’t need to get a permit from the ag dept.