State to Allow Internet Sales of Home Food Products

Patty Ritchie

April 30, 2018

Mirrors Ritchie Proposal to Create New Home-based Business Opportunities

For the first time ever, home-based chefs and bakers will be allowed to sell goods online, and include a wider variety of products and ingredients, under expanded home food processor rules unveiled by the state Agriculture Department today.

The plan dramatically expands the opportunity for New Yorkers to turn their kitchens into a successful home based business, and mirrors proposals drafted and championed by Senator Patty Ritchie and included in her recent “Growing Strong” plan to help build and strengthen New York agriculture.

“There are currently more than 2,800 registered home food processors in New York, and modernizing the rules that govern these homemade entrepreneurs—including lifting the ban on internet sales—could encourage thousands to try to share their skills, talents and good taste to launch successful businesses of their own,” said Senator Ritchie, who is chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.

The new rules more than double the items and ingredients that home processors are permitted to use in products like bagels, rolls, donuts, cookies, fruit jams, dried spices and soup mixes, trail and baking mixes, popcorn and fudge. The full list of products is available at www.agriculture.ny.gov.

New York’s home processor law exempts small home-based businesses from inspection and other requirements for large-scale food manufacturers. However, the old rules, including the ban on online sales, were more restrictive than in other states. Working with home processors in the North Country and Central New York region, Senator Ritchie crafted legislation that is largely mirrored in the new regulations released today.

In addition to allowing online sales and an expanded list of items that can be offered for sale, the new rules also included Senator Ritchie’s proposal to require regular review and updates of the regulations to reflect changes in markets and consumer demands.