Senate Bill 1766 allows “small honey production operations” to sell honey directly to consumers in Texas since the law took effect on September 1, 2015. Check the qualifications below. If you don't meet the small honey producer definition, scroll down the page for the "licensed food manufacturer" requirements.
If you do not meet meet the criteria above as a small honey producer, you must be licensed as a regular food manufacturer.
Labeling is required for all bottled honey by Chapter 131 of the Texas Agriculture Code: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/AG/htm/AG.131.htm .
The label must include:
If you don't meet the small honey producer requirements above, you may choose to become a licensed food manufacturer. A Texas Food Manufacturing license allows retail, wholesale, internet sales and distribution of honey that is labeled with manufacturer’s name. The license application may be found at the following website: www.dshs.texas.gov/foods . On the left side column you will see “Applications and Forms”. Clicking on this brings up another page from which you may choose to apply online (the second bolded topic) or print out a hard copy and mail in with a check (the third bolded topic). If you have any questions on filling out the license application you may call our licensing group at 512-834-6626. The license is a two year, renewable license. Texas Administrative Code 229.183(3) Living areas. No manufacturing or holding of foods for distribution shall be conducted in any room used as living or sleeping quarters. All food manufacturing and storage shall be separated from any living or sleeping quarters by complete partitioning.
When you are deciding to sell honey wholesale or over the internet, there are 5 areas of jurisdiction with which you may need to comply:
1) Texas Department of State Health Services - to sell honey as food in Texas, you will need to follow the rules for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) 25 TAC §§229.210-229.225 and obtain a food manufacturing license.
2) FDA Food Facility Registration (only if selling wholesale and engaging in interstate commerce)
3) FDA Food Labeling
4) Local Health Department Guidelines, if applicable
5) Homeowner or Deed Restrictions, if applicable
However, if a beekeeper operating under a manufacturer’s license wishes to extract and/or bottle honey on their property it is a possibility if the following conditions are met:
All bottled honey is also subject to the labeling requirements in Chapter 131 of the Texas Agricultural Code Subchapter E - Labeling and Sale of Honey. There is an additional labeling recommendation for honey: a warning on the label to not feed honey to infants under one year old. This is a voluntary warning. The statement that is commonly used is the following: “Do not feed honey to infants under one year of age”. The warning statement is advisable due to the chance that an infant could contract Infant botulism after ingesting honey. FDA Food Facility Registration: Note: This is not required if you are only selling your honey directly to consumers that will not reuse the honey in any other products that they will produce and sell to consumers. If you wholesale your honey, once you send in your food manufacturing license application, there is also a FDA Food Facility Registration that is required by all wholesalers. There is no fee to register but filing is required by law if wholesaling food products. The registration is easy and the purpose is to have your firm on record so that your firm can be contacted in case of any food alerts. You will want to visit their website at: http://www.access.fda.gov. If you have any trouble registering on-line, just call their toll free number at 1-800-216-7331.
Basic labeling information is addressed in the menu on the left hand side of the page as well. Food Labeling Guidance: General food labeling information may be found in the “FDA Food Labeling Guide” publication which was written in a more user friendly way to help business label products properly. It may be found by searching on the internet (FDA Food Labeling Guide) or simply go to the following website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm2006828.htm
For additional information please feel free to contact any of the Compliance Officers with Foods Unit PSQA:
Policy Standards and Quality Assurance -
Foods Unit 1100 W. 49th St - Mail Code 1987P.O. Box 149347Austin, Texas 78756
Phone: 512-834-6670, fax: 512-834-6681