Artisan Sausage licenses

The place to swap commercial recipes, techniques etc.

Artisan Sausage licenses

Postby lulabell » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:15 am

I am an artisan sausage maker in California. I have been reading up on which licenses I will need in order to start selling my sausages at local farmer's markets.
I read on the FDA website that if I package the meat I will need a manufacturer's license. I have also read that if it is for personal consumption of my customers that I do not.
I contacted the FDA and they were vague, stating that if I thought I needed it then I did.
I work out of a rental commercial kitchen.

Two questions-

I work out of a rental commercial kitchen, would the FDA approve that type of facility?


Can I get around the federal license with Butcher paper?
Registered Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:47 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA.

Re: Artisan Sausage licenses

Postby grisell » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:53 am

lulabell wrote:[---]
I contacted the FDA and they were vague, stating that if I thought I needed it then I did.

:lol: :lol:
That's a funny one! If you think you need a permit... Sounds like Swedish authorities.

Welcome to the forum! :D

PS Sorry, I don't have an answer.

I have a simple taste - I'm always satisfied with the best.
Registered Member
Posts: 3170
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:17 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Postby TJ Buffalo » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:29 pm

Lulabell, this is one of those situations where you're really going to need to contact local authorities about your plan. I suspect that you'll need to be licensed for manufacturing, and your rented premises will probably need to pass a health and safety inspection since you're making and handling food. You should probably start working through California Department of Food and Agriculture ( Also, contact some place like the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association ( to see their requirements for food producers; on their site they have a section called:

Resources for Non-agricultural Producers

PCFMA's markets also include specialty food items such as breads, pastries, jams, seafood, and gourmet sausages. Some markets also include ready-to-eat foods such as various ethnic specialties or rotisserie-cooked chicken. These items provide additional choices for consumers and support local entrepreneurs.

In certain markets, PCFMA is restricted by its contract with the market sponsor concerning the number or type of non-agricultural products that can be sold in that market. All non-agricultural products must be juried by PCFMA before they are admitted to a market.

All non-agricultural producers must have a health permit covering the kitchen at which their products are produced and packaged (products cannot be made in home kitchens) as well as health permit from the county in which they wish to sell their products.

PCFMA invites specialty food producers offering items other than certified California agriculture to download, complete and return the Non-Agricultural Producers Application to Sell. These producers must pay an application fee and provide copies of certain documents including health permits for the point of production, proof of product liability insurance and proof of auto insurance. A full list of required documents is included with the Application to sell.
TJ Buffalo
Global Moderator
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 2:07 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Jogeephus » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:56 am

A fellow sausage maker and I were discussing this the other day and he met with our state inspector and the inspector told him that if he had pre-packaged the meat he would have to have the manufacturers license but if he packaged it AFTER the customer selected it then he did not. Why this makes any difference don't know.
Patience please, I'm just trying to get on the learning curve.
Registered Member
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Nashville, Georgia USA

Postby lulabell » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:43 am

Thank you for all of the great feedback!!!

As I had read in the FDA's codes, I can have a cart and package my product at the moment of the sale, otherwise I will need a Manufacturer's license. That would be great to have, but would be tricky if I am renting space in a commercial kitchen utilized by other chefs and caterers.
Registered Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:47 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA.

Postby Epicurohn » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:51 am

The Extension Service or Program of your local universities can help you navigate your municipal, county and state health regulations.

The Point of Packaging criteria would have to do with the fact that pre-packaged products would have an expected shelf life of up to 6 months. Therefore strict manufacturing and packaging guidelines would have to be observed in order to assure the public that your product will remain safe during such a long period of time (lots of preservatives).
Registered Member
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:47 pm
Location: Honduras

Return to For food service professionals, chefs, butchers etc.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest