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NeilV
02-02-2009, 09:44 PM
Does anybody live in a state that has any type of exemption from regular health dept. regulation for the production of honey? I'm looking for laws that, for example, exempt honey producers from requirements to bottle products in inspected kitchens, particular for hobbiest/sideline beekeepers. It seems like there ought to be exceptions, given that honey itself kills germs.

If I could find an example, I intend to start pestering legislators here in Oklahoma.

Thanks,

Neil

Bud Dingler
02-02-2009, 11:43 PM
mn and wisco have no laws pertaining to honey house.

ask them to show you the dead bodies from honey food poisoning@!

FWIW most states and the FDA have zero to no one looking or enforcing these kinds of ridiculous laws. just bottle it and sell it and play stupid if they ever asked....

dbest
02-02-2009, 11:55 PM
In Michigan your honey house has to meet kitchen standards. They compare us to cider mills and maple syrup places. We need a 3 bay sink and we're supposed to clean everything everyday. I haven't figured out how to fit a barrel into a sink. I also don't understand why everything has to be stainless steel and then we can put honey in an old barrel.

tecumseh
02-03-2009, 04:50 AM
the last time I looked there was an exception to the food packaging laws in texas. this basically comes down to... if you do not process food and you then sell this from the back of your pickup no health certificate is required. if you sell product in a store then a permit is required from the state health department.

beemandan
02-03-2009, 05:00 AM
Ga is similar to TX. For 'casual sales' an inspected honey house isn't needed. Casual sales are sales to friends, family, local farmer's markets and at local festivals. Otherwise a GA Department of Ag approved honey processing house is required.

magnet-man
02-03-2009, 06:42 AM
In Oklahoma if you want to sell it at a farmer's market or a store you have to have meet health standards. Three compartment sink, washable walls, etc.

NeilV
02-03-2009, 07:23 AM
Magnet-Man hit the nail on the head. And they really do go around and check the Farmers Markets, and the Farmers Markets know they will be checked and they check you out first. Basically, the only way to sell honey here is on a totally informal basis, person-to-person.

That does not preven all the sideliner types from selling out, but it is a pain for beekeepers and it's stupid. I just need some type of statute/regulation to follow as a guide and to talk to my State Rep. I'd like to be able to say "See this is a good idea, and they are already doing it this way in 8 states."

GaSteve
02-03-2009, 08:31 AM
Ga is similar to TX. For 'casual sales' an inspected honey house isn't needed. Casual sales are sales to friends, family, local farmer's markets and at local festivals. Otherwise a GA Department of Ag approved honey processing house is required.

The inspector in this area of GA claims that ANY sales outside of your home requires an inspected honey house including local markets and festivals -- regardless of volume.

I have heard that they will enforce this by attending markets and checking for inspection records. If none exists, you get a warning the 1st time and a fine the 2nd.

It can be a pain to pass an inspection. The normal stuff like washable walls, covered light fixtures, and label inspections weren't difficult. They initially wanted me to have 3 separate sinks -- one for food contact items like utensils, one for mopping, and one for hand washing. They did eventually let me get by with a large 3 compartment restaurant style sink.

I wanted to just let the waste water run through a long pipe downhill into the woods (wash and rinse water only -- no toilets). The inspector reacted like it was nuclear waste. I ended up having to install an under-sink grey water pump ($250) and pump it up to my house to tie it in to my house drain and septic system. What a pain.

Docking
02-03-2009, 09:36 AM
Any one here know about the laws in Alabama?

beemandan
02-03-2009, 11:32 AM
The inspector in this area of GA claims that ANY sales outside of your home requires an inspected honey house including local markets and festivals -- regardless of volume.
John Rudeseal from the GA Dept of Ag spoke a few years ago at at GBA meeting and the notes I took at the time are what I quoted.

They initially wanted me to have 3 separate sinks -- one for food contact items like utensils, one for mopping, and one for hand washing. They did eventually let me get by with a large 3 compartment restaurant style sink.The Dept of Ag folks who I spoke with on the phone tried the same thing with me. I had a written copy of the requirements....they only specify a 2 compartment sink. I told them I built the house to the written specs and asked them to send out the inspector. He was perfectly happy with it.

GaSteve
02-03-2009, 12:11 PM
John Rudeseal from the GA Dept of Ag spoke a few years ago at at GBA meeting and the notes I took at the time are what I quoted.


Interesting. It may be a case of different inspectors interpreting the rules differently. I believe these are the same folks who inspect restaurants and they probably concentrate their efforts where the highest health risk is. Honey bottling should be at the bottom of that list.

A point I forgot to make about label inspections -- make sure you have weights in metric and english and don't forget the actual words "Net Wt." which I did. And you need two ways of being contacted. Address, phone, email, etc.

He also mentioned at some point collecting some sample jars to check not only for fill weight but also for adulteration (i.e. corn syrup) and pesticide contamination.

Has anyone heard anything more about this?

beemandan
02-03-2009, 12:24 PM
He also mentioned at some point collecting some sample jars to check not only for fill weight but also for adulteration (i.e. corn syrup) and pesticide contamination.
Has anyone heard anything more about this?The inspector checked me out about a month ago and didn't mention anything. I'm going to be pretty surprised if they did. With the economy in its present shape and tax revenues in the tank I'm betting that there's going to be a load of cuts....and I can't imagine them adding this kind of overhead.

Superdog
02-03-2009, 02:02 PM
mn and wisco have no laws pertaining to honey house.

ask them to show you the dead bodies from honey food poisoning@!

FWIW most states and the FDA have zero to no one looking or enforcing these kinds of ridiculous laws. just bottle it and sell it and play stupid if they ever asked....

BUD.... hate to give you bad news, but Wisconsin does have laws for honey sales and honey houses. See the link
www.hort.wisc.edu/freshveg/Power%20Point/Value%20Added.ppt

dbest
02-03-2009, 03:29 PM
BUD.... hate to give you bad news, but Wisconsin does have laws for honey sales and honey houses. See the link
www.hort.wisc.edu/freshveg/Power%20Point/Value%20Added.ppt

according to your link honey is exempt.

dhood
02-03-2009, 03:42 PM
I found this somewhere and saved it in a file, couldn't post a link because I don't remember were I found it. (Does everyone around here have a honeyhouse built? If so, do you have any details, could one of those wooden storage buildings be made into a honey house and pass inspection?

March 31, 2006
Dear Beekeepers,
In response to some of the questions I have recently received, I have
written this letter to try and explain our laws and regulations. The state of S.C.
does not allow any food items for public sale to be manufactured in a home
kitchen or other NON-APPROVED facility. Any process where exposed food is
mixed, repacked, packaged and/or cooked is considered food preparation and
falls under SCDA/FDA jurisdiction.
Any product that is manufactured in a non-approved facility (such as a
home kitchen) will be considered adulterated and removed from public sale. Any
product mislabeled will be considered adulterate and removed from public sale.
What is public sale?
If you sell your product at a flea market or farmers market, if you place a sign in
your yard, or if you sell to local stores, this is considered PUBLIC SALE and all
regulations and laws will be applied.
If you sell by word of mouth or to your neighbors, this is NOT public Sale.
In order to manufacture food for public sale, you must follow these
requirements:
1. Use an inspected facility (either SCDHEC approved or SCDA approved).
Review the Processor Guidelines regarding buildings and grounds when
constructing your honey house.
2. An approved label that includes Name of Product (HONEY), Your Business
Name and Address, and Net Weight. Pay close attention to font size and
placement of information especially Net Weight. It is critical that the font size
is at least the minimum size allowed by law. Use the Honey Label Sample as
a guide only. When you have a label ready for review, you may call our office
or drop the label off.
3. Following all Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) which are enforced by
SCDA during routine inspections of your facility. Hair restraints, hand
washing, sanitized jars, clean utensils (knives), and clean equipment
(extractors, tanks, etc.)
We will work with you to bring you into compliance with our Food and Cosmetic
Act and will help if you choose rent or build an approved facility. We try to
ensure that wholesome and approved SC products are available to the public;
your help is greatly appreciated.
Remember to look into Product Liability Insurance. If someone gets sick (or
makes a claim) and sues you, you need to have product liability insurance to
cover your assets.
Thank You,
Derek M. Underwood
Consumer Safety Officer
Hugh Weathers, Commissioner
Carol Fulmer, Director
Consumer Services
SCDA
Consumer Service Division
1101 Williams Street
PO Box 11280
Columbia SC 29211
(803) 737-9690

dcross
02-03-2009, 07:39 PM
BUD.... hate to give you bad news, but Wisconsin does have laws for honey sales and honey houses. See the link
www.hort.wisc.edu/freshveg/Power%20Point/Value%20Added.ppt

When I looked into it, I was told that as long as it was being sold to the end consumer from my house it was completely exempt. County health inspector told me farmers markets are exempt as long as my name and address and net wt. are on the container.

LBEE
02-04-2009, 12:05 AM
Hi Neil!

In the state of Oregon, there is an exemption for a beekeeper with less than 21 hives.

http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/FSD/docs/pdf/guide_farmer_mkt.pdf
http://egov.oregon.gov/ODA/FSD/docs/pdf/pub_honeyexempt_08.pdf

Hope that this helps.

Larry Edwards

tecumseh
02-04-2009, 04:52 AM
neil v.... here the department that handles food manufacting license is the Texas Department State Health Serices. The Texas Administrative Code 229.181 thru 229.184 is the code that control food manufactures in general.

curios enough when I went to the local health department they gave me some copies of the code that did not include (mentioned in no way) the exemptions. the state government web site did however.

summer1052
02-04-2009, 08:34 AM
"Texas Administrative Code
TITLE 25 HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1 DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 229 FOOD AND DRUG
SUBCHAPTER N CURRENT GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICE AND GOOD WAREHOUSEING PRACTICE IN MANUFACTURING, PACKING OR HOLDING HUMAN FOOD
RULE *229.214 Exclusions

"The following operations are not subject to this section: Establishments engaged solely in the harvesting, storage, or distribution of one or more raw agricultural commodities which are ordinarily cleaned and packed before being market to the consuming public.

"Source Note: The provisions of this *229.214 adopted to be effective August 15, 1999, 24 TexReg 6082; amended to be effective August 31, 2006, 31 TexReg 6746."

The italics are mine.

I read this to mean honey is excluded, so a hobbyist/sideliner selling by word of mouth is okay.

Always better to ask forgiveness :doh: than permission, :s especially when asking bureaucrats, IMHO. One will have a different answer than another, forcing you to enter the Babylon of Bureaucratic Hell :eek: to find The One with the Final Answer, who will wonder why you are bothering him with this unimportant nonsense. :waiting:

Keep a paper of trail of whom/what you consulted, who said what, and when. Then you can at least back up your reasoning.

GL
Summer

IABeeMan
02-04-2009, 09:38 AM
In Iowa as long as you are selling it to the consumer you do not have to have any type of inspection. You can find your local laws by contacting your city or county health dept.

GaSteve
02-04-2009, 09:00 PM
...With the economy in its present shape and tax revenues in the tank I'm betting that there's going to be a load of cuts....and I can't imagine them adding this kind of overhead.

I think you're right. Given the recent peanut butter debacle, they'll probably concentrate on worse threats than honey.

okb
02-04-2009, 09:52 PM
Tennessee Requirements.



Honey House Requirements in Tennessee
As a resource to beekeepers with questions about state law, link below, for the 2003 "honey house bill." It allows individuals to pack and ship up to 150 gallons of honey per year without being considered a retail food establishment.

http://www.tnbeekeepers.org/honey_house_bill.pdf

rainesridgefarm
02-05-2009, 06:46 AM
You have to have a inspected facility to sell to the public. it has to be seperate from the living area. You can use a commercial kitchen from a church, school, restaruant or coop but it does have to be inspected for public sales.

I do think this is a good thing to some extent. There are honey houses I would not go into because fo the mold growing on the walls is a inch thick next to the extractor and I know people who houses are so clean I would eat the honey off the floor.

There are exceptions to everthing.

AstroBee
02-05-2009, 08:10 AM
Virginia does require an annual state inspection (plus $40 fee) of your processing facility. I must provide a copy of this inspection certificate to farmers markets that I sell at. Most festivals send health inspectors around the morning of the event to check each vendor for compliance.

LtlWilli
02-05-2009, 10:03 AM
"The inspector reacted like it was nuclear waste."....Steve, Didn't you know---Barney Fife is not dead..He has merely changed his name , and gone undercover as a honeyhouse inspector in Georgia....Doncha' rile him, either. He still has his bullet in his shirt pocket...LOL
Rick ~ LtlWilli

kopeck
02-05-2009, 01:37 PM
Ok, now you guys have got me curious.

Anyone know what the requirements are for Maine? I've never had enough to do anything more then friend type sales but I might expand a but this year.

K

FANNBEE
02-05-2009, 04:26 PM
Mississippi is trying to pass legislation to the effect that anybody producing 500 gallons of honey or less can get some kind of exemption.

Jeffzhear
02-06-2009, 04:53 AM
Tennessee Requirements.



Honey House Requirements in Tennessee
As a resource to beekeepers with questions about state law, link below, for the 2003 "honey house bill." It allows individuals to pack and ship up to 150 gallons of honey per year without being considered a retail food establishment.

http://www.tnbeekeepers.org/honey_house_bill.pdf

The link didn't work for me? Any way you could provide a different link to the honey house bill?

wildbranch2007
02-07-2009, 05:35 AM
//www.tnbeekeepers.org/honey_house_bill.pdf

cut and paste it to get it to work

J-Bees
02-07-2009, 05:55 AM
The law's they are still makeing are what is KILLING the USA.

anyone know where I can go hide:}:}


JB:}

rkwool01
05-10-2009, 12:20 AM
Unfortunately several states have made beekeeping legally unaffordable for hobbyist and sideliners. Florida is one of them. There are approximately 1300 registered beekeepers in Florida, but only about 61 of them have a food license, the associated restaurant kitchen equipment, annual inspections, and annual training. The link below addresses Florida's requirements for bottling honey for retail sales and other info of interest.

http://swfbees.com/FinancialBurden.html

http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2009/pdf/history/HB/HB0486.xml

Florida has made some headway for the syrupmakers. In 2005, Florida exempted Florida's syrupmakers from requiring a food license and inspections to cook and bottle cane and sorghum syrup for retail sales.

Hobbyist and sideliners need affordable means of legally using beekeeping to recoup expenses and to afford growth or just to preserve the agricultural heritage of beekeeping. Hopefully, enough interest will encourage the major beekeeping and honey organizations to lobby for action to make beekeeping legally affordable for hobbyist and sideliners in each state.

The future of beekeeping is in our hobbyist and sideliners. Among them are our future researchers, commercial beekeepers, pollinators, and producers and promoters of pure, raw, local honey. They are our future. They are our replacements. They are our small farmers. They farm the most sought out commodity of beekeeping, pure, raw, local honey. Without them, the beekeeping industry would slowly disappear. Where would the replacements come from? Where would you buy real, pure, raw, local honey?

Bizzybee
05-10-2009, 06:08 AM
"The following operations are not subject to this section: Establishments engaged solely in the harvesting, storage, or distribution of one or more raw agricultural commodities which are ordinarily cleaned and packed before being market to the consuming public."

"Cleaned" being the operative word there possibly summer. There is no cleaning process with honey.

I think I would be cautious in the interpretation of the statement and make sure that how you interpret it agrees with the people in charge of enforcement.


Not that this is the case rkwool? But often it's large business that lobbies to create such laws to push out their competition.

WGB
05-10-2009, 08:21 AM
The inspector checked me out about a month ago and didn't mention anything. I'm going to be pretty surprised if they did. With the economy in its present shape and tax revenues in the tank I'm betting that there's going to be a load of cuts....and I can't imagine them adding this kind of overhead.

Government just added 66,000 new jobs for you and I to pay for!
They may step up the permits & fines to help cover things, thats what they're doing here. And the farmer markets are really getting hammered.
:ot: kinda!

beyondthesidewalks
05-10-2009, 10:21 AM
[QUOTE=Bizzybee;422684I think I would be cautious in the interpretation of the statement and make sure that how you interpret it agrees with the people in charge of enforcement. [/QUOTE]

Interpretation is the key word here. Follow the regulations/laws to the letter. If the bureaucrat/inspector says that your impletation does not jive with their interpretation remind them that elected representatives and taxpayers have not hired them to interpret regulations/laws but enforce them as written. Normally that sort of language backs them down right away. They live in a world where they reference regs/laws all the time. They don't want you exposing their man behind the curtain. That said, be prepared to fight if you need to. Your elected officials have people working in their offices who will fight these causes for you. The bureaucrats really do not like elected officials or their underlings looking into their affairs.

Local officials in my neck of the woods think I'm a real jerk and don't really mess with me anymore. I'm fine with that. I don't like them so it's mutual.

DebCP
05-10-2009, 11:02 AM
RKWOOL1,

I couldn't get your second link to work? Is there a way I can check on the progress of this bill in Florida?

From what I have heard Florida hasn't been too concerned about cracking down on small producers but I have heard that if you are at a flea market or other type of booth that there is some danger of being fined.

summer1052
05-10-2009, 02:25 PM
I *interpreted* (the magic word!) "cleaning" -- as it pertains to honey -- to mean "filter out wings and dead bee bodies, etc."

There is a local establishment that really wants to sell my honey. They get requests all the time for local honey, and there isn't any.

But the boss lady already warned me that to have her re-sell, she **must** have a copy of MY health inspection certificate. The inspector that checks out their place is a real picky jerk, and she has already run into other issues with him. (Bags of homemade noodles)

So it goes. I'll start at home with word of mouth, and wing it from there. I might have access to a certfied kitchen, so I'll have to see how it goes.

Summer

BoBn
05-10-2009, 02:41 PM
New Hampshire regulations are here:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XL/429/429-mrg.htm

rkwool01
05-10-2009, 03:39 PM
DebCP and all:

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Not sure why. I may not have copy and paste correctly.

http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2009/pdf/history/HB/HB0486.xml

<--history of
Mississippi House Bill 486 which is now LAW

Regarding the subject of enforcement – I would think the enforcement of Florida Food License hinges on one's method of advertising, visibility of sales, and proximity/disposition of someone else who has a food license.

Beekeeping courses and some guest speakers are quick to point out the existence of the food license requirements. I'm sure the fear of being caught and not being able to handle an additional investment has come into play in contemplating beekeeping or having concerns over being able to expand. I'm sure this license issue and all the required investments associated with it has been one of the major contributors to the declining number of beekeepers.

Swobee
05-11-2009, 06:01 AM
Kansas pretty much looks the other way if honey is sold via farmer's markets or out of your home. Once it hits a shelf in any retail outlet setting, a Food Processing License is required. Check Ks Dept of Health & Environment (KDHE) & Dept of Ag websites for details. The Ks. Division of Ag. now inspects honey processing, while KDHE inspects restaurants and other simialr facilities. The requirements referenced are exactly the same for either facility, but different fees are required - requried: employee restroom(s), triple section sink, hand washing sink, hot water supply, etc.

Soapguy
03-06-2013, 02:54 PM
I am prayerful that the below will help in your search.
<<Prev Rule
Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
TITLE 25 HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1 DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 229 FOOD AND DRUG
SUBCHAPTER N CURRENT GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICE AND GOOD WAREHOUSING PRACTICE IN MANUFACTURING, PACKING, OR HOLDING HUMAN FOOD
RULE §229.214 Exclusions
The following operations are not subject to this section: Establishments engaged solely in the harvesting, storage, or distribution of one or more raw agricultural commodities which are ordinarily cleaned and packed before being marketed to the consuming public.

Source Note: The provisions of this §229.214 adopted to be effective August 15, 1999, 24 TexReg 6082; amended to be effective August 31, 2006, 31 TexReg 6746

NuclearDruid
03-07-2013, 02:48 PM
Exemption in Illinois since 2010.

http://www.ilsba.com/uploads/1/0/6/4/10649295/2010_september_october_bulletin.pdf

ND

NasalSponge
03-07-2013, 09:04 PM
Interesting this thread should be resurrected as we have a new bill on the House floor that has already been passed by the Senate allowing OKLA beekeepers producing 500 gal or less to be exempt from both the health dept inspections and the permits to sell food stuff. In other words, we will be able to legally extract and bottle our honey in our kitchen and sell it to the public which is not legal right now.

Andrew Dewey
03-08-2013, 04:22 AM
Ok, now you guys have got me curious.

Anyone know what the requirements are for Maine? I've never had enough to do anything more then friend type sales but I might expand a but this year.

K

Essentialy you need to process in a registered and inspected facility. Items checked include water quality, septic, basic sanitation. Honey is exempt from having to have each sized jar sent out for a lab test. I attended a MOFGA workshop on this a few months back and have my application here on my desk somewhere. I'll be attempting to have my home kitchen approved; when we built the kitchen I made sure to have washable walls and things like that. Floor drains too. Now, about proving my septic system can handle honey production...

[but note, cut comb honey is not considered processed]

Flewster
08-04-2013, 03:20 PM
Does anybody live in a state that has any type of exemption from regular health dept. regulation for the production of honey? I'm looking for laws that, for example, exempt honey producers from requirements to bottle products in inspected kitchens, particular for hobbiest/sideline beekeepers. It seems like there ought to be exceptions, given that honey itself kills germs.

If I could find an example, I intend to start pestering legislators here in Oklahoma.

Thanks,

Neil

This is what the Kansas Food Code says about Honey.

Food Processing Plant.
(1) "Food processing plant" means a commercial operation that processes or stores food for human consumption and provides food for distribution to other business entities at other locations, including other food processing plants and food establishments. ‘‘Food processing plant’’
(2) "Food processing plant" does not include any operation or individual beekeeper that produces and distributes honey to other business entities if the producer does not process the honey beyond extraction from the comb.

Hope this helps you.

Wayne

rakirby
08-04-2013, 05:43 PM
In Colorado, we have a "Cottage Industry" law that allows uninspected production and direct sale to the consumer but you cannot sell to groceries or restaurants. However, there are labeling requirements for your produce.

cade10
08-04-2013, 10:01 PM
Iowa is pretty loose, about all I could find was

Residences which prepare or distribute honey, shell eggs or nonhazardous baked goods are not required to be licensed as home food establishments.
Home food establishment"
means a business on the premises of a residence where potentially hazardous bakery goods are prepared for consumption elsewhere.

Iowa Administrative Code/Inspections and Appeals Department [481]/Chapter 30 FOOD AND CONSUMER SAFETY




All in all Iowa is mostly interested in making sure it is labeled correctly as honey, the weight is right and you have some contact info on the jar, and getting their slice of the taxes of course.
I sell at a few farmers markets and out of the house some, not more than a few hundred pounds a year currently but I don't think the regulations differ due to the scale of the operation

If the food is considered non hazardous you don't need any kind of permit to sell at the markets, fruits, veggies and honey are in that category here. Insurance is up to the market managers - as a producer you don't have to buy insurance but the market may not allow you to sell without it - some do, some don't and homeowners insurance sometimes covers some things. Just really tricky on definitions of alot of stuff.