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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    256

    Sad Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    This is something that ALL Missouri Beekeepers need to be concerned about.
    At the fall Missouri State Beekeepers Association meeting we had a breakout session titled “Keeping Bees and Selling Honey in Missouri:
    I was not in this session as I was in a Queen rearing class.
    The following is a part of a report in the news letter about this session.


    (( First came a spirited discussion about the definition of “food processing”, which a couple of questioners defined, in the conventional
    way, as the making of a food product by mixing or modifying ingredients - leading them to wonder what it has to do with the
    bottling of pure honey. The Health Specialist however, defined the term much more broadly to include virtually any handling of a food product.
    As such, she said, “honey processing” is subject to state regulations requiring an “inspected kitchen” - except in cases where the product
    is to be sold directly, and in person, to the end user. What difference does it make, someone asked, whether it’s sold directly or indirectly, when it’s the same honey, in the same bottle, with the same label? The Health Specialist responded that if you sell directly to the consumer, he or she can ask you questions about the product. But even then, she added, the law requires the product to contain a label stating that it was not inspected by the state.

    As for honey processing, it isn't just bottling, said The Health Specialist; it begins at the point when a frame is uncapped. “So it doesn't apply to comb honey?” one man asked. Actually it does, she clarified, as you are cutting the combs out of the frame for packaging.
    “So Ross Rounds are okay?” someone else asked, noting that these are self-contained and would thus fall outside that definition. Nope, came
    the reply - just removing it from the hive counts as processing, as that exposes it to an environment where it could become contaminated.
    All stages of the operation, therefore, need to be conducted in an inspected kitchen.
    She was then asked about picking apples from a tree; isn't that food processing too? No, she said, as the apple is still the same as when it
    was on the tree. Packaging of uncut fruits and vegetables does not fall under guidelines on food processing; only once they are cut do they
    become subject to regulation.

    Regarding the criteria for such an “inspected kitchen”, The Health Specialist did say that it was not the same as the “certified kitchen” required in a restaurant or bakery. Through a series of questions, we established the following stipulations: The kitchen can be located in one’s home,
    but must be separate from the primary home kitchen, and must include a separate hand-washing sink, washable walls and ceiling,
    and a floor drain. If a separate building is used, it must include its own bathroom, and all sink and floor drains must be connected to a proper sewer or septic system.

    Someone in the audience asked the same question I had asked during my first phone conversation with The Health Specialist: Why the distinction between the product I sell direct and what I sell through a third party, when it’s the same honey? She gave him the same response she’d given me that the direct buyer can ask the seller questions about that honey. I didn't get it then, and I don’t get it now. ))

    This is NOT the complete report only parts, there is allot more.

    This means I cant extract my honey at home and sell it in containers for resale or bulk with out having to pay someone else to do it.

    ( All stages of the operation, therefore, need to be conducted in an inspected kitchen. )
    According to what was stated they are wanting us to move our hives to the kitchen to remove suppers.

    I don't know were to go with this but it has me concerned!
    I am going to start by contacting some of our state reps but I'm not sure how to go about what to ask or say?
    Thoughts?
    Zone 6b 1400'

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,703

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    My suggestion is to get honey added to the Missouri "Cottage Foods" rules. See this link:
    http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking...ro/HB1508I.PDF


    However, see this document:
    http://agrimissouri.com/pdf/fmhandbook.pdf

    particularly page 24 about a "facilities exemption" for those selling honey and less than $30,000 per year gross sales.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    Thanks Rader
    It's close to what we need for honey but it prohibits selling for retail and the internet.
    But it does give me some place to start.
    Jim
    Zone 6b 1400'

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    In my experience, the other illogical part is that I can extract it in my kitchen, put it into buckets and sell it to the guy with the certified honey house who them packs it in bottles (in his certified honey house) and then sells it to the grocery store. That is fine, but I can't sell it to the grocery store if I don't have a certified honey house... so what makes it safer because the guy with the certified honey house touched it?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    In my experience, the other illogical part is that I can extract it in my kitchen, put it into buckets and sell it to the guy with the certified honey house who them packs it in bottles (in his certified honey house) and then sells it to the grocery store. That is fine, but I can't sell it to the grocery store if I don't have a certified honey house... so what makes it safer because the guy with the certified honey house touched it?
    If the Health Specialist get there way we wouldn't even be able to do it that way. We will have to take our honey to a (certified kitchen) to have it extracted before we can sell it for resale.

    The Health Specialist suggestion was that local bee clubs host extracting days at approved sites where members can all extract honey together. So, someone asked, can members extract their honey into food grade buckets that day and bottle at home as needed? No, she said, all bottling needs to be done in an inspected kitchen as well.

    Can you imagine what this would be like?
    Zone 6b 1400'

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    599

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    I have tried very hard to keep the process as sanitary as possible, but I can never get the girls to wash their feet before they spit the honey out into the cells. And the bug screens on the hive entrances fail to keep ants and flies out of the hives during the manufacture process.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Weston MO
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    And don't forget to collect and remit sales tax, and declare the revenue as income.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,260

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    And the nice sanitary lady from the guvmint in her clean brown shirt will be glad to help with all of it. Laws are made to protect the public. No regulations referred to in this whole posting takes one step toward that end. It is all about empire building and government control.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    >My suggestion is to get honey added to the Missouri "Cottage Foods" rules.

    The Cottage Food permits here cost the small beekeeper hundreds of dollars a year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    >Can you imagine what this would be like?

    Yes. A nightmare.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    If you haven't seen the film, "Farmagedon", you might want to rent it. The Govt is becoming too much of a control freak. "Food, Inc" is another good one.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Markle, IN USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    Reminds me of what happened in Indiana. My in-laws were small farmers with a few dairy cows that produced grade B milk. The old milk cans. Made into cheese and such. The government stepped in with regulations about refrigeration, what kind of system to use, what kind of building to store the milk in. The processors quit picking up their milk and they sold the cows. Now we have only large outfits producing milk. I can see honey going the same way. For our protection of course.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Missouri Environmental Public Health crack down

    The other can of worms all this inspecting opens up is, in my experience, inspectors think it's their job to find something, so they hunt until they do. Rather than looking at the big picture of cleanliness and competency they nitpick. It's almost better to make sure you have some minor infraction that is easily and immediately remedied where they can find it so they can pretend they did their job.

    Another can of worms is when more than one agency decides it's their job. We now have the local health dept, the state health dept, possibly the state dept of agriculture, the USDA, the FDA and homeland security involved in protecting the public from bad food processing and then OSHA making sure the employees are protected from dangers. I knew of a dairy that ended up being shut down because OSHA said they couldn't have bare tile floors because they were slippery and noisy and the health department said they had to have tile floors because they could be cleaned sufficiently. I know of a beekeeper who was told to put screens on windows that could not be opened (by homeland security no less). When he protested that they could not be opened he was openly threatened with being shut down if he argued.

    So not only do we get bogged down in one bureaucracy, but caught between as many as seven bureaucracies...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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