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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    418

    Default Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    So the wife and I set up a little honey stand inside a store that allows local people to sell local crafts and wares. We only had 19 bottles on the shelf and all the label said on it was 'Raw Wyoming Honey' from Moon Apiaries. After it was on the stand for 2-3 days a woman who also has products for sale in the store raised a big fit about it. Saying we need licenses, insurance, inspection certificates, and that the whole process would take up to 3 months. So in the interest of avoiding conflict and getting this lady whipped into a tizzy we went down and pulled all of our honey off the store shelves until we talked to the food and health inspector. When we were in there this woman was there at the same time and started giving me the riot act on how honey and dairy products were the two hardest products to sell as a small mom and pop operation. She sold goat milk soaps and lotions as well as some herbal tea's and other products. She told me the risk of botulism from honey required special licensing to sell it. I told her that it was impossible for honey to contain botulism due to it's anti-bacterial properties. As a matter of fact I told her, honey is actually used in bandages for burn victims and is currently being tested to treat MRSA as it has showed promise in treating antibiotic resistant strains of the infection. She about went through the roof raising her voice telling me it was illegal to sell anything making claims like that and that the FDA would basically seize everything I own and fine me 25,000 dollars for even mentioning something like that. I politely informed her that she didn't know what it was she was talking about and she definitely didn't know anything about honey but that we would be happy to speak with the health inspector before returning our product to the shelf. She seemed combative about the whole idea to say the least.

    Just wanted to vent figured you guys could throw your two cents in on the whole deal.

    *edit*

    Just as an after thought as I was re-reading this. She got upset and said the honey needed to be labeled as Raw honey. When we told her it was labeled as raw honey she got really upset and told us it was illegal for us to sell it as organic honey. I told her as nicely as possible there was no indication that we were selling or labeling our honey as organic or to pass it off as organic. She proceeded to tell me that unless it was certified as organic we needed to have the honey's expiration date posted on it. I tried to explain to her that honey didn't expire. In fact I told her that honey had been found in ancient Egyptian tombs that was 3,000 plus years old and was deemed to still be edible. She told me that was because that was real pure honey before insecticides and pesticides came onto the scene and now honey would expire after a few years due to the pesticides. I just gave up trying and figured the lady was batty.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    615

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Sounds like a hatefull bitter old lady. Tell her the next time she talks the talk she can hire a attorney and you will see her in court cause she is definately a fool.
    Last edited by Barry; 10-07-2012 at 09:20 AM. Reason: language

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    To paraphrase a great lawman we all knew: "She's a NUT!!" -js

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,942

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverratbees View Post
    Sounds like a hatefull bitter old lady ...
    Hey, what's up with the nasty attitude about "old" lady? There was nothing Moon's post that said anything about the woman's age! One day, if you are lucky, you will be old too ...



    There are plenty of young people that have difficulty distinguishing between "holes in the ground", to use your phrase. Fear and ignorance are equal opportunity employers.
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 10-06-2012 at 10:37 PM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Honey does contain botulism spores, it's why you can't feed it to babies. I would've told her to pound sand.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    She may have been planning to sell honey and she's upset that you beat her to it.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,997

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    In most states a small scale/hobby beekeeper can sell to the end user without any fancy licensing, or inspections. You might need to register you're hives with the department of Agriculture, & label you're bottles correctly. Honey shouldn't be eaten by infants under one year old because honey doesn't kill botulism spores, their bodies haven't built up an immunity to it yet. Honey doesn't necessarily contain the spores but it can.
    You can find a lot of good info here, at the National Honey Board website- http://www.honey.com/nhb
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,431

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    State laws vary. In Florida the apiary must be registered. You can only sell from your yard/farm, flea markets and farmer's markets, or get food safety licensing to sell in stores and other locations. The state, county, or city can confiscate it and fine you if not licensed at least in Florida.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    I am old enough to remember when this uproar started.We,the beekeepers,did not challenge this piece of nonsense and now we are stuck with it.It turned out that the real culprit was Karo syrup that was fed to the very few infants that developed botulism.There were plenty of articles in Bee Culture and ABJ at the time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    You hit an old witch here. In Australian you can use a "use by" or "best by" . Kill one of her arguments by putting a date of say 3 years, by that time most people have finished the honey anyway. You may want o ask her if there "food" products are produced in approved premises. Her soaps could contain disease. Ask her for all of her certificate.

    Good Luck

    Geoff

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Here are some some useful links regarding 'use by', 'sell by' and 'best before' dates for foods:

    USDA http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets...roduct_Dating/
    Australia (NSW) http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/...-use-by-dates/

    The USDA information declares that "product dating is not generally required by Federal regulations" but then goes on to mention that some state laws may require product dating. If you voluntarily put a date on your honey, there is a prescribed format that you will need to follow. Pretty simple stuff - guidelines are on the webpage.

    The Australian government website says that "All food with a shelf life of less than 2 years must be date marked." I checked a popular Australian-brand honey bottle and it only seems to have a 'packed date' stamped on it.
    Jeanette
    HiveTasks Software for beekeepers

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    I also had a look for laws specific to Wyoming. From what I can understand, Wyoming considers honey to be a processed food. It also seems that honey falls into the category of 'Commercial processed' not 'Home processed' food which could mean getting a licence. You might like to have a look at these links for yourself:

    Wyoming Dept of Agriculture 2012 requirements (see page 2) http://www.worlandchamber.com/commun...safety2012.pdf
    Wyoming Farmers Markets (go to page 25) http://www.wyomingfarmersmarkets.org...ers_Market.pdf
    Wyoming Guidlines 2008 (see section 'When is a licence required?') http://www.lovellinc.org/images/FMGuidelines.pdf

    *edit*

    These links are focused primarily on Farmer's Markets. It could be worth checking with the Dept of Agriculture whether the same laws apply to selling from a stall at a retail outlet (the hobby shop).
    Jeanette
    HiveTasks Software for beekeepers

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Redlands, Ca
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Just my two cents...you did a great job handeling her and dealing with her rage. I'm not sure I could of done the same

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ste. Rose, MB
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Honey is the only product sold in stores without a best before date. Bottled water has a BB date.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    When I was in Law Enforcement, we used to say one word and define it.

    Stress---that overwhelming desire one has to choke the living snot out of someone who desperately needs it. Sounds like you ran up against one of those folks.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Unfortunately she is probably correct with regards to what the seller needs to do to put honey on a store shelf.

    I am not familiar with Wyoming's law but here in Wisconsin it is exactly like what she said. I was approached by a local store manager to sell my honey in their store. I checked into what I needed to do legally and it is pretty close to what she is describing.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Get all the legal requirements right, ie labels and they look right and everything is covered. If you are asked by some-one who is isn't their business about a license, just say "of course I have". The itch had no right to rave on at you , she could have been helpful but chose not to.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,997

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    I know here selling wholesale to a store, & selling to the consumer directly are 2 different things.
    Other than his booth not being maned I think he is paying for booth rental space, like you pay for space at the farmers market, flee market, or county fair which are legal. IE direct sales to the consumer.
    Don't know if the person watching over the booths is taking a cut of the money other than the space rental.
    Dan

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Trying to sell in a local hobby store, ran into some... problems.

    Okay to clear things up on this, because I've spoken with the health inspector about it and even had him over to the house for a visit, (extremely nice and helpful guy btw) I'll tell you what I was told about Wyoming law on this matter.

    There are certain regulations as to how my bottle must be labeled. For example the bottle can't say "1LB of Honey" on it unless I have a state certified scale that has been tested and calibrated to show that it measures correct amounts. I do NOT need a nutrition label of any kind because the product I'm selling contains only one ingredient and that one ingredient is obviously mentioned on the label. No other warnings disclaimers or information needs to be given about the product except for my contact information. An E-mail address or mailing address would suffice for this purpose.

    As far as bottling goes the area in which I bottle the product must not be the same as my home kitchen. In fact the product needs to be prepared in a facility outside of my primary residence, however my garage constitutes outside my primary residence; but, I would be unable to park any vehicles or store any type of chemical in the garage if processing of the product were to occur their. I.E. No gasoline cans, paint cans, lawn mower, WD-40 etc... In addition to preparing the product outside of my primary residence/kitchen the area I'm preparing the product in must be able to be easily cleaned. All surfaces must be easily cleaned (no bare wood exposed, all walls must be framed and either sheet rocked with a semi gloss/gloss paint or covered with some type of paneling. Floors must be either tiled, laminated, etc...) Four sinks with running water must be supplied to the area. Three sinks need to be available with a size able to accommodate the largest utensil or item that will be in use in the area. If the biggest item I'm using that needs washed is a spatula all I need is three sinks able to accommodate the spatula (something like an extractor or bottling take would be considered a fixed item/appliance like a stove that could be cleaned in place). The fourth sink is a sink that is specifically designated for washing/cleaning any persons hands.

    God bless loop holes, because the loop hole in this licensing process is I only need this license if I'm using a third party to sell my product. Grocery store, hobby store, whatever. If I'm selling the product directly to the consumer ( road side stand, craft show, door to door, etc...) I don't need the license and can package it however I see fit. I don't know what the legal liabilities are selling honey this way and I'll need to investigate it further, however, this is just the information given to me by the inspector and what I've gathered so far. Any questions comments concerns I'd be happy to answer them or indulge in any more debate about the subject. Let me know what you girls and guys think.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

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