The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ingredient labeling for products for sale

floureverywhere's picture
floureverywhere

Ingredient labeling for products for sale

Hello!  I am trying to comply with NYS labeling laws that state that home processed goods must list ingredients, allergens, address, etc.  I am wondering if anyone else has tackled this?  Any helpful hints? Also, if you have a product that has baking powder (for example), do you actually list all the sub-ingredients?  I.e. Rumford Baking Powder is made up of cornstarch, sodium bicarbonate, and monocalcium phosphate.   Just curious.  I am a tiny operation, but I want to do everything right!

proth5's picture
proth5

In Colorado - yes - if baking powder has sub-ingredients, you must list them all. It never hurts to list the sub ingredients. I once spent a sleepless night because someone was allergic to barley (and barley malt is in most commercial flours) and had eaten a product of mine and was having a reaction (fortunately minor). Again, it never hurts to list the sub ingredients.In Colorado, you must also label products with a disclaimer that they are processed in a home and could contain traces of nuts, eggs, and other common allergens even if the products themselves do not contain those things. Check with your NYS laws about that.

You might want to contact someone who actually prints labels (rather than doing them yourself on the computer - I know you were planning on doing that...) since there are many ways to "shrink" the ingredients list so that your label does not become too large that are just not available on most home use labeling software. These can be surprisingly economical.

Also make sure that you have business insurance or verify that your homeowner's insurance (or an umbrella liability policy) will cover your liability should someone decide to sue. It's all among friends until someone gets sick - and suspects your product. If you have assets, you could lose them all. Do not say that no one warned you.

Good luck. I decided NOT to produce food under cottage laws since the cost of carrying insurance and the low wage I would pay myself made the whole thing seem less than worthwhile, but there are people who are committed to it and sometimes they not only make a go of it, but move on to bigger and better things.

Timothy Wilson's picture
Timothy Wilson

In general, this is normal when the full composition is indicated. I think it's not worth detailing the composition of the baking powder - it is available on the Internet and it is, in principle, the same for all manufacturers. Allergens must also be indicated so that the person immediately understands whether he can eat it or not.

proth5's picture
proth5

I have two different brands of baking powder. Rumsford ingredients are: Corn Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate. Clabber Girl Ingredients are: Corn Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, and Monocalcium Phosphate.

Seems like the two manufacturers use different ingredients to me.

Anyway, whether or not the information is available on the internet or "folks" think it's not worth it, if the cottage laws of your state say to list the sub ingredients of your ingredients, you must list them or be out of compliance with cottage laws. (BTW: here is a useful reference for New York State: https://agriculture.ny.gov/food-safety/home-processing )

If you didn't have to take a class to get certified for cottage production (which is required in Colorado, but may not be in NYS) so that you have some reference to see what the laws are, you might want to contact your county extension to make sure. They should have the information.

floureverywhere's picture
floureverywhere

I appreciate all the good feedback and insights.  In NYS, there is an application to be a home processor, but all that is required is a well water test.  There are some limitations as to what you can or cannot produce.  Most baked goods are approved.  The rules for listing ingredients are shockingly vague.

I think I will err on the side of too much information!  Also, the website for Avery Labels has some amazing templates online that are helping me design ingredient labels.  For now I think I will use those templates, but I will look into some labeling services.

I am definitely getting liability insurance.  Not worth the risk not to!

Thanks!