Permits/Licenses for selling Food goods
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I was wondering if anyone knows what type of permit/license is needed for selling food goods on etsy (i.e., online only)? I know it is exempt from FDA registration, but it's been so hard to find the accurate information to answer my question on the internet. (DFW, TX)
Posted at 4:01 pm Sep 10, 2010 EDT
Me too cottagelinens.
In one critique I mentioned that to a food seller, and he said he was all licensed and inspected and he thought that saying his kitchen was "clean and professional grade" was sufficient. I let him know that as a buyer, it wouldn't be, but he liked it that way and wouldn't consider adding that he had met all the legal requirements... go figure!
Posted at 5:25 pm Sep 10, 2010 EDT
GoTo - Then I hope he is also happy with his sales. I would think there would be a lot of people who won't buy unless it states up front that they have the proper requirements. Personally I wouldn't even ask. I just would find someone else to buy from.
Posted at 6:14 pm Sep 10, 2010 EDT
btw, there are strict requirements for pet snacks as well after the CHina melamine pet food problem.
two things I wouldn't sell: food, kids jewelry.
if you do any craft fairs, it's a good idea to have personal liability insurance. again, I"d not be in biz w/o it...
Posted at 7:18 pm Sep 10, 2010 EDT
I can't imagine someone getting upset over a request for kitchen certification. I am a lupus patient on immune inhibitors and have been made sick by something sold on the counter at a stop-n-go. When asked where they were made I was told the owners mom makes them at home.. Not OK. Too bad this was after the fact.
I would buy food made here if I knew it was in a certified commercial kitchen by somone who knows food safety. We had a catering Company before I got sick and I know the hoops you have to jump through and why. When I had to take the Food Managers certification classes/tests I learned things I would rather not know about food safety. There are rules for a reason...if you know them and abide by them I am all for selling on Etsy. I think small business is a grand thing.
BTW.. sometimes you can rent day/morning space at a restaurant that only serves in the evenings. You can get certified with the department of health using their location as a separate business. I know some people who have done this for cake baking.
Good luck to anyone wanting to try.
Posted at 3:15 pm Oct 2, 2010 EDT
There are only a handful of states that allow baking from home. Texas right now isn't one of them, though I know some cake girls that have a bill before congress (?) to change that law. I used to have a home-based cookie biz so I know how lucky I am to live in Ohio where it is legal. I was legal under the cottage food laws, but I couldn't ship over state lines; that required a different and more pricy license with different rules. There are ways to go about it though. You can try looking for a commercial kitchen and rent time. Sometimes churches have legal kitchens.
Posted at 3:26 pm Oct 2, 2010 EDT
This is why I would never sell my delicious cookies online. Sorry folks!
Posted at 4:45 pm Oct 2, 2010 EDT