ALBANY — State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that the Department of Agriculture and Markets has expanded its list of food products that are approved to be made and sold from a home kitchen. Additionally, the Department is now allowing home processors to sell their products online within New York State in addition to selling direct from home or at a farmers’ market. These changes will allow small home businesses to increase their customer base and reach new markets, and are the latest actions taken to make doing business in New York easier, especially for small entities. Home processors are exempt from obtaining an Article 20-C food processing license and Article 28 retail food store license but are required to register with the Department.
Commissioner Ball said, “Ensuring the safety of our food supply is a critical function of the Department and that includes overseeing the home processors in our State. The Department is pleased to be able to expand the list of foods that entrepreneurs can safely make in their home kitchens, and that they can now sell to the public from their home business and also online.”
As of this month, the Department has nearly doubled the number of food items that home processors are permitted to sell to consumers, adding 19 products, such as repackaging of dried soup mixes, dehydrated/dried fruits and vegetables, trail mix, toffee/caramel apples, plus many more, to its original list. To protect public health and to minimize the potential of food product adulteration, the home processor exemption allows the following non-potentially hazardous home processed foods:
- Breads (not containing fruits and/or vegetables)
- Rolls and/or Cinnamon Rolls
- Cake Pops (no chocolate or candy melts)
- Double-crust fruit pies
- Fruit jams, jellies, and marmalades made with high acid/low pH fruits
- Repacking/blending of commercially dried spices or herbs
- Repackaging dried or dehydrated vegetables
- Repackaging dried soup mixes
- Repackaging dried fruit
- Repackaging of dried pasta
- Repackaging dry baking mixes
- Seasoning salt
- Popcorn/Caramel corn
- Peanut brittle
- Rice Krispies Treats
- Granola and trail mix (using commercially roasted nuts)
- Candy (excluding chocolate)
- Waffle cones and pizelles
- Toffee/caramel apples
- Confections, including toffees, caramels, hard candies
- Vegetable chips, including potato chips
The updated list of approved foods, prohibited foods and additional information on how to register to become a home food processor is posted on the Department’s website at https://www.agriculture.ny.gov/FS/consumer/FSI-898D_Home_Processor.pdf. The Department will review the list of approved products/ingredients annually and update its policy accordingly.
Home processors are also now permitted all modes of delivery and sales within New York State, including direct from their home, to a retail store or at a farmers’ market, community support agriculture subscription, and online.
“Across our state, there are countless people seeking to launch businesses from their home kitchens,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “I have been proud to advocate for cutting red tape to help home food processors start or expand their ventures, while still protecting consumer safety. I am pleased the state is reforming these regulations, and can’t wait to see how changes help to grow businesses and allow more people to experience the ‘good taste’ of these talented entrepreneurs.”
About the Department’s Division of Food Safety and Inspection
The Division of Food Safety and Inspection works to ensure that the food and feed supply is safe for New Yorkers to consume. This is the Department’s largest division, with a staff of approximately 150 full-time employees, covering every county in the state.
In addition to regular inspections, the Division handles licensing of the State’s food processing and retail food establishments, collects food products for analysis by the Department’s Food Laboratory, investigates consumer complaints of foodborne illnesses, and verifies product labeling.
The Division has a robust food surveillance program, regularly discovering products found to contain undeclared ingredients and live pathogens. Most recently, the Division was involved in several investigations regarding products contaminated with heavy metals and industrial dyes. This work received recognition by the FDA, led to several recalls, found at https://www.agriculture.ny.gov/AD/alertList.asp, and seizure of several tons of contaminated products.
The Division also hosts New York’s Commercial Animal Feed, Pet Food and Farm Products programs. For more information on the Division’s compliance history and types of deficiencies commonly observed, please visit the Department’s website at https://www.agriculture.ny.gov/FS/FSHome.html.
–NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
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