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Cooperative Extension: Food & Health

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Resources for Small Food Businesses in Maine - Assistance for Starting Small, Home-Based Food Businesses

Are you interested in starting a food business in Maine? We can help!

Begin with Bulletin #3101, Recipe to Market – How to Start a Specialty Food Business in Maine.

Food Licenses and Maine Regulatory Information

If you are interested in obtaining your food processors license, there are 3 common food licenses offered by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Quality Assurance & Regulations:

  • Commercial (not shelf-stable foods)
  • Home-Food Processor (shelf-stable foods, baked goods, without dairy-based frostings and fillings)
  • Mobile Food Vendor (farmers markets)

Application for food licenses.

If you have regulatory food questions about these licenses or would like to talk to an inspector about a pre-inspection, please visit the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources for contact information.

Send your food product in for testing

Dr. Al Bushway is our food processing authority and offers testing at his laboratory for Maine food producers at a minimal fee of $10/sample. For more information, please visit Food Science & Human Nutrition.


Other Resources at UMaine

You may be interested in visiting the University of Maine Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition for more information regarding their state-of-the-art food pilot plant or other food technology services.


Could funding help you towards commercializing your food product?

Please check out the Maine Technology Institute’s Grants, as they may provide the funding you need to move forward.


If you have any questions on how UMaine can assist you with your food business, please contact Beth Calder, Extension Food Science Specialist by e-mail at or by phone at 207-581-2791.

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Image Description: Extension food safety team visits the Black Bear Brewery in Orono, Maine; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDA

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University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Food & Health
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or 800.287.8957 (TDD)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System