Page 1 of 1

Artisan Sausage licenses

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:15 am
by lulabell
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?

Re: Artisan Sausage licenses

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:53 am
by grisell
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.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:29 pm
by TJ Buffalo
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.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:56 am
by Jogeephus
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.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:43 am
by lulabell
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.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:51 am
by Epicurohn
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).