Regulations for Specific Products


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Regulations for Specific Products

Regional Markets Program Lead: Laura Raymond
General Phone: (206) 256-6157 
smallfarms@agr.wa.gov

23. Selling Beef, Pork, Lamb, Goat, and Other Meat


Growing consumer demand for local, natural, grass-fed, and organic meat creates new opportunities for producers. However, selling USDA inspected meat is a significant challenge due to our state's limited local processing infrastructure. Selling beef, pork, lamb, and goat as "custom exempt" is a common option.

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24. Selling Body Care Products


Body care products, also called "cosmetics" in state and federal law, are sought by consumers interested in better health especially if made from natural, local ingredients. From lip balm to lotion, skin creams to shampoos, these are great products to market directly to consumers at farmers markets, farm stands and independent grocery stores.

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25. Selling Dairy Products


There are a growing number of independent dairies that are direct marketing their goat, sheep and/or cow milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and even kefir. The Pacific Northwest Cheese Project [external link] now lists 42 artisan cheese makers in Washington State alone. Milk and most other dairy are considered to be potentially hazardous food products due to the high potential of pathogen growth if products are not handled properly.

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26. Selling Eggs


Eggs are a popular item to direct market and selling eggs is a relatively easy enterprise to begin. Technically, an "egg" refers to the shell egg of chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl and any other species of poultry. If you have a flock that is under 3,000 hens, then they are exempt from USDA grade requirements and fall under state law RCW 69.25.

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27. Selling Fish and Shellfish


This fact sheet reviews the state regulations for fish and shellfish sold to the end consumer or sold to restaurants and grocery stores...

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28. Selling Fresh Fruits and Vegetables


Washington State farmers selling directly to the end consumer, restaurants, or grocery stores, may sell most produce without product inspection or licenses. However, inspection requirements apply for selling fresh apricots, Italian prunes, peaches, cherries, apples, pears, and asparagus in Washington State.

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29. Selling Herbs


Washington State farmers selling fresh culinary herbs directly to the end consumer, restaurants, or grocery stores are not required to have their products inspected or to get any specific licenses. However, dried or processed herbs require a WSDA Food Processor License.

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30. Selling Herbal and Dietary Supplements


Herbal and dietary supplements are products that are ingested and include dried herbs, teas, tinctures, capsules, and tablets. These supplements have a specific federal and state definition and must meet the same regulatory requirements for any processed food as well as additional requirements...

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31. Selling Honey


Honey is an excellent product for direct marketing because it provides an opportunity for customers to experience each unique flavor and aroma before purchasing. Beekeepers who extract their own honey can sell it in the raw form both to the end consumer and wholesale markets. They do not need a WSDA Food Processor's License.

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32. Selling Mushrooms


Wild or cultivated mushrooms can be sold at farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants or other direct sales venues. Savvy consumers and chefs look for high quality and unique mushrooms. While white button, crimini, and portabella mushrooms are the most popular varieties in grocery stores, chanterelles, morels, and lobster mushrooms shine at farmers markets.

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33. Selling Nursery Products


Washington State has an over $300 million nursery industry that continues to grow. To limit the introduction of invasive species and agriculturally significant pest and disease that can be brought in from nursery stock coming from out-of-state, the state requires any person who handles or sells horticulture plants to have a license.

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34. Selling Nuts


From hazelnuts to walnuts, chestnuts to peanuts, Washington producers sell nuts and nut products at farmers markets, farm stands and direct to grocery stores. Selling whole nuts in the shell is a relatively easy enterprise to begin and does not require licensing.

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35. Selling and Processing Poultry


Growing consumer demand for locally grown, humanely-raised, organic and/or pastured meat creates new opportunities for small-scale chicken, turkey and other poultry producers. Careful planning and a good understanding of the regulations surrounding the processing, handling, and marketing of poultry meat is essential.

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36. Selling Rabbit Meat


There is a small but growing interest in raising and selling meat rabbits in Washington. With the proper license or permit, a producer can sell his or her rabbit meat in Washington State to retail outlets such as restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers markets, wholesale, or straight from the farm. Currently, restaurants featuring locally sourced foods or French or European fare are potential markets for rabbit meat.

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37. Selling Ready-to-Eat Foods


In general, "ready-to-eat" foods are those foods that are considered safe and edible without any additional preparation. Also referred to as "prepared foods," they are popular products at farmers markets, farm stands, festivals, events and county fairs. Some ready-to-eat food vendors have connected with farmers to feature local vegetables on pizza, in seasonal soups, and soft fruit and berry smoothies.

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38. Selling Salad Greens


Farmers selling fresh salad greens have seen an increase in popularity and demand by consumers in CSAs, farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants. The regulations for whole leaf salad greens can be complicated, but many options are available without infrastructure or licensing while additional products are possible with a WSDA Food Processor License and Facility.

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39. Selling Seeds


According to the WSDA Seed Program, Washington State now has over 70,000 acres in seed production, an increase of 30% since 2012. While mostly alfalfa, corn, and grass seed dominate this acreage, other farms are cultivating vegetable and flower seed both for on-farm use and to sell directly to consumers or contractually to seed companies.

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40. Selling Sprouts


Sprouts are known for their nutritional value and as a healthy food. However, sprouts have also been associated with multiple outbreaks of foodborne illnesses and recalls in recent years. Harmful microorganisms tend to grow quickly in the warm and humid conditions that are needed to help the raw seeds sprout. Technically, sprouts are classified as a "potentially hazardous food" in the Washington State Retail Food Code, meaning time/temperature controls are required "to limit pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation."

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41. Selling Wine, Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits


One of the most regulated types of food businesses are those that produce and/or sell alcoholic beverages. Federal, state and local laws apply.

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42. Selling Juice


Licensing requirements and marketing options for juice depend on whether the juice is raw or treated. This fact sheet deals with juice and beverages that include juice as an ingredient such as juice added to sparkling water, teas, kombucha, etc.

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