New York Law on “Cottage Food Operations” (or Home Processed Food)

Rincker Law Food & Ag Law, Seminars, Speaking Engagements Leave a Comment

One of the several topics that I will be covering on October 29th at this seminar at Pace Law School will be New York Cottage Food Operation Law (i.e., Home Processed Food or Home-Based Kitchens).  I want to stress that the seminar is open to the general public (only $15) so I highly encourage my readers in New York to attend.

In way of background, under NY Agric. & Mtks section 276.3, a “home processed food” is defined as “any food processed in a private home or residence using the ordinary kitchen facilities of that home … but shall exclude potentially hazardous food . . . .”   Folks making home processed food may be exempt from the requirement to obtain an Article 20-C license.   Please note that this exemption does not apply to direct internet sales.

More specifically, processors of these goods who sell these food products are exempt so long as the following four conditions are satisfied:

  1. All finished product containers are clean, sanitary and properly labeled.
  2. All home processed foods produced under this exemption are neither adulterated nor misbranded.
  3. Glass containers for jams, jellies, marmalades and similar products are provided with suitable rigid metal covers.
  4. All home processed foods are sold only within New York State.

If the product requires refrigeration, then it is not allowed to be produced as a home processed food.  Furthermore, this exemption is restricted to the following non-potentially hazardous home processed foods:

  1. Bakery products, i.e., bread, rolls, cookies, cakes, brownies, fudge, and double-crust fruit pies for wholesale marketing or retail agricultural venues such as farms, farm stands, farmers markets, green markets, craft fairs and flea markets.
  2. Traditional jams, jellies, and marmalades made with high acid/low pH fruits.
  3. Repacking/blending dried spices or herbs.
  4. Snack items such as popcorn, caramel corn and peanut brittle
  5. Candy (excluding chocolate) – tempering chocolate for molding or dipping is not allowed.

Please note that despite the exemption, home processors may be subject to an inspection by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

This is just a teaser! The panel will be discussing this and more at the seminar.  I hope you plan to attend!

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