Working With a Co-Packer

There are some things you need to know…

Many of our clients have been in the food industry for a long time and are familiar with the laws and regulations that help keep our food safe and ready to eat.

Others may be new to the industry and need a little help along the way – and that’s ok!

We’ve pulled together some resources that may be helpful to you on your journey. If you read through the information below, you’ll have a head start on many of the things we will be asking you for when we co-pack your product here at Maryland Packaging.

CFR Title 21

This is a set of regulations that we must follow.

It governs a lot of things regarding food safety and what you need to do when making food for commercial use.

For example, if you want to add color to your food, this document governs what you can use for that. It will also tell you which preservatives to use and when.

Our staff is trained in what’s allowed and what isn’t, so if you’re working with us and we let you know where something is permitted and when it’s not, this is likely the regulations we’re adhering to.

Follow this link to take a look at the regulations.

Lab Testing

We do the following testing in-house:

  • pH
  • Brix
  • Salinity
  • Titratable Testing
  • Color testing using spectrometry

We send microbrial and pathogen testing to a 3rd party lab. Click here to learn more about them.

Ingredient Controls

To ensure food safety, regulatory controls are set in place at every step of the food production process. This includes ingredients.

When you package or create your food, a lot of times, you’ll need to bring in the raw ingredients.

When you do that, we’ll need a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) or Letter of Understanding from the supplier you’re sourcing your ingredients from.

Visit this FDA resource for more information.


Getting a safe, quality product takes time. When you’re starting a new product line, or changing co-packers, it can be helpful to know up-front how long certain approvals can take.

Expect the health department to take about 2-3 weeks to get back to you.

Organic certification can take up to 30 days, but there are 3 or 5 day rush options (with a fee around $100 – $300).

Kosher certification takes about 2 weeks.


There are often several forms of certifications you can get for your food products. Here at Maryland Packaging, we can get your Kosher and Organic foods certified through the following systems:

For Organic, we go through CCOF and QAI.

We can do Circle K Kosher certifications.


If you’re new to the commercialized food or co-packing industry, you may hear some confusing lingo thrown around about different processes.

This 3rd party resource can help you get your feet wet and talking like a pro in no time.