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Q: Can I make and sell artisan style breads baked with olives or aged cheese?

A: Olives and cheese vary in acidity and water activity levels. Adding green or black olives or cheese to a yeast or quick bread may change the product from a nonpotentially hazardous food to a potentially hazardous food requiring refrigeration for food safety. Test these products for both water activity and pH to verify non-potentially hazardous status by a commercial lab. If the test results have a pH ≤ 4.6 or water activity ≤0 .85 then it is legal cottage food product. As a reminder, these ingredients must be added before baking and cannot be added as a topping after baking.

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