Skip Navigation

Getting Started

First Step — Create an Account

The first time you place an order, you will be prompted to create an online user registration ID and user name. Please keep this ID and user name for your records, as you will need this information every time you send in a new product for testing. You will need to decide on one contact person, including the company name (if applicable), mailing address, email address, phone number, and county. An email address will be required, as review letters and test results will now be emailed to clients using our new system. We will no longer be mailing printed copies of review letters to clients. You should print off each review letter and keep these letters in your records for your future inspections. You will be asked if you want to be added to our Cooperative Extension mailing list. This mailing list is for Cooperative Extension clients and will be an opportunity for us to share with you any educational programs, trainings or surveys we may offer in the future that may be of interest to you, but is entirely optional.

We are now requiring food processors to enter their recipes/formulations through our secure online system. Food products must be entered one at a time and the product testing must be paid during the product submission process using a credit card or electronic check. If you do not have access to a computer, most public libraries or a relative/friend can help provide you with online access. If you are having issues with online submissions, please contact us.

If you do not have access to a credit card or electronic check, please contact Michele Lodgek at michele.lodgek@maine.edu or 207.581.2721 for assistance with paying online.

Instructions for Filling Out the Order Form

Convert your recipe(s) from typical recipe amounts (cups, tsp, liters, gallons, etc.) onto a weight basis using an accurate scale +/- 0.1 (g, oz or lbs). Liquids can be weighed by first taring a container on the scale, pouring out the amount of liquid used in the recipe and weigh the liquid amount. The recipe has to be submitted in all the same units (grams, ounces or pounds). This conversion helps us to classify what type of product you are producing and also helps improve consistency and accuracy of your product formulation.

Explain your processing steps in as much detail as possible from the preparation stages of your ingredients to the heating temperatures and hold times (when applicable). For water bath-canned products, we require the product hot fill temperature, temperature of the boil process, and the water bath canning time. For bottled products, we require the hot fill temperature and the procedure of how you are packaging the product. For non-heated products (dehydrated products or nut butters), you must also send in your sanitation procedures for a review, as well.

Be sure to include the size of your container that you will be selling your product (in ounces).

You may include any notes to further describe your process, product or package that you consider important. This notes section is optional.

Provide an estimated date when you will be shipping the product and an estimated date of arrival at our laboratory.

You will need to select which state you are from and which tests will be required for your product. If you are not sure which tests will be required for your product, please feel free to contact us. On rare occasions, additional testing may be required after product submission to further ensure your product safety based on the first set of test results. We will contact you if further testing will be required.

As part of our review process, we are required by Maine and New Hampshire regulatory agencies to share copies of your review letters. A copy of your review letter will automatically be emailed to your licensing agency if you live in ME or NH.

We have developed this online process based on feedback from our clients and to help improve our testing and review letter turnaround time. We are open to client feedback and if you have any suggestions for improvement, have concerns or questions, please contact us.