local food law - pace law school cle

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I gave this presentation at Pace Law School on March 13, 2013. The recording is available for purchase from Pace Law School's CLE program. I touch upon several areas affecting the local food movement including cottage food operation law (or home processed food), on farm poultry slaughter regulations (including Article 5-A licenses), land use and zoning regulations including urban agriculture and the Right-to-Farm law, "compensated" volunteer farm labor, and a few miscellaneous topics including estate and succession planning for farms, farm leases, and food safety. I end my presentation with a few practical pointers for attorneys and law students who would like to start their own food and agriculture law practice.


  • 1. Survey of Local Food Law Pace University, School of Law March 13, 2013 By Cari B. Rincker, Esq.

2. Overview of Discussion Cottage Food OperationLaws Poultry SlaughterRegulations Land Use & Zoning Volunteer Farm Labor Miscellaneous Topics Starting an AgricultureLaw Practice 3. NY Cottage Food Operation Law 4. Article 20-C Licenses Food processing establishments in New Yorkare subject to biennial license requirementsunder Article 20-C of NYS Agric. & Mkts 251-z-1 et sec. Record keeping Inspections Education 5. Exemption to Article 20-C LicensingHome Processed Food may beexempt from Article 20-Clicensing if certain conditions aremet ; however, they still must beregistered with NYSDAMsDivision of Food Safety andInspection (FSI-989c) 6. Definition of Home Processed Food Under NYS Agric. & Mkts Regulations Section 276.3(a)[3+, a *h]ome processed food includes any food processed in a private home or residence using only the ordinary kitchen facilities of that home or residence which are also used to prepare food for the owner thereof, his family, nonpaying guests and household and farm employees who reside therein, but shall exclude potentially hazardous foods. . . . (Emphasis added). 7. Article 20-C License Exemption 4 conditions must be met: All finished product containers are clean, sanitary and properly labeled. All home processed foods produced under this exemption are neither adulterated nor misbranded. Glass containers for jams, jellies, marmalades and similar products are provided with suitable rigid metal covers. All home processed foods are sold only within New York State.See NFSI-898d, Home Processing Fact Sheet 8. Article 20-C License Exemption Restricted to the following non-potentiallyhazardous home processed foods: Bakery products for wholesalemarketing or retail agricultural venuessuch as farms, farm stands, farmersmarkets, green markets, craft fairs andflea markets; Traditional jams, jellies, andmarmalades made with high acid/lowpH fruits; Repacking/blending dried spices orherbs; Snack items such as popcorn, caramelcorn and peanut brittle; and Candy (excluding chocolate) 9. Article 20-C License Exemption If the product requires refrigeration then it is notallowed to be produced as a Home Processor. Fruit/ Vegetable Breads Pickled or Fermented Foods Cheesecake, Cream Filled Pastries Meat, Fish, or Poultry Products Vegetable Oils, Blended Oils Garlic and/or Herb in Oil Mixtures Wine Jellies, Chutneys, Fruit Butters Cooked or Canned Fruits or Vegetables Cheese, Yogurt, Fluid Dairy Products Sauces, Salsas, Marinades 10. Inspections for Home ProcessorsEven though Home Processorsare exempt under the Article20-C license requirement, theyare still subject to inspection byNYSDAM 11. Food LabelingExemption to Article 20-CLicensing does notexempt the cottage foodoperation from foodlabeling requirements 12. Land Use & Zoning Considerations Commercial operations in aresidence may conflict withthe local zoning code thatprohibit certaincommercial activities inresidential zones. Variances or special usepermits may be required tooperate a cottage foodoperation out of a home. 13. Insurance Standard homeownersinsurance policies typicallydo not provide coveragefor commercial operationssuch as cottage foodoperations. Advise clients participatingin cottage food operationsto look into a commercialpolicy and/or food recallinsurance 14. On-Farm Poultry Slaughter Regulations 15. Producer/Grower1000 Bird Limit ExemptionA New York poultryproducer who processesand sells less than 1000chickens or 250 turkeys(i.e., 1 turkey = 4 chickens)may be subject to the 1000Bird Limit Exemption underthe Poultry ProductInspection Act (PPIA) 16. Producer/Grower1000 Bird Limit Exemption 5 Criteria under Poultry Product Inspection Act The poultry producer slaughters no more than 1,000 healthy birds of his/her own farm in a calendar year for distribution as human food; The poultry producer does not engage in buying or selling poultry products other than those produced from poultry raised on his/her farm; The slaughter and processing are conducted under sanitary standards, practices, and procedures that produce poultry products that are sound, clean, not adulterated or misbranded, and fit for human food; The poultry producer keeps the required records; and, The poultry product does not move in interstate commerce (i.e., exchange or transportation of the poultry product stays within the state of New York). 17. Producer/Grower 1000 Bird Limit ExemptionAlthough sales and transportationof poultry products under thisexemption are only required to stayintrastate, NYSDAMs 2009guidelines suggest that farmsoperating under the 1000 birdexemption should maintain controlof its product through the saledirectly to the consumer bylimiting sales to on-farmoutlets, roadside stands, orfarmers markets 18. Producer/Grower1000 Bird Limit Exemption Food Packaging Packaging materials mustbe safe for its intended usepursuant to the Food Drug& Cosmetic Act (FDCA) Labels must be approvedby the FDA 19. Producer/Grower 1000 Bird Limit Exemption Food Labeling New York has adopted the USDA FSIS Mandatory Labeling Requirements. Following items are required to be on the principal display panel for all sales of meat or poultry sold in New York: Product name and description; Inspection Legend and Establishment Number (for farmsprocessing under this exemption, it should say Exempted P.L.90-492); Net weight statement (includes packed on date, sell by date, net wt lb., price per lb, and net weight); Name and address of the farm; and, Safe handling statement (if processed under on-farmexemption, then label must say Exempt P.L. 90-492). 20. Producer/Grower1000 Bird Limit Exemption Processing Guidelines Water used in processing, cleaning and sanitation, inchilling tanks and ice manufacture should be potableand must be tested annual to determine potability; Any approved sanitizing agents for use on foodcontact surfaces must be used in prescribedconcentrations and methods; Any agents (including lubricants) used on equipmentmaintenance must be food grade; The on-farm processing facility must be managed in amanner that protects the environment (e.g., surfaceand groundwater, and soils). 21. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) Provide Training for Processing Personnel Establish Health & Hygiene Policies Maintain a Clean Processing Environment Control Pests Control Access to the Processing Facility Provide Potable Water Securely Store ProcessingEquipment, Utensils, Supplies & Materials Manage Processing Wastes 22. (Sanitation) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs SSOPs) Site Management & Pest Control Personnel Health & Hygiene Pre-Operational Inspection & SanitationSchedule Daily Operational Sanitation Maintenance Chill Tank, Giblet Chill Containers &Refrigeration Temperature Monitoring Post-Operational Sanitation Schedule 23. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) PlanEven though a HACCP Plan is not required for birds slaughtered andprocessed under the Producer/Grower 1000 Bird Limit Exemption it ishighly recommended 7 Steps of HACCP Access food safety hazards associated with all areas of your product Determine Critical Control Points (CCPs) Establish the Critical Limits for each CCP Establish Monitoring Procedures for CCPs Establish Corrective Actions to be taken when CCPs are not in control Establish Record-Keeping Procedures Establish Verification Procedures to determine that the system is working 24. Article 5-A Licenses Poultry sold intrastate not subject to theProducer/Grower 1000 Bird Limit Exemption Exclusions include the following: Bona fide farmer who harvests birds for householduse Custom slaughter Under 1000 bird-equivalent Person or not-for-profit who donates wild game Prohibited from cities with a population over 1million & within 1500 feet of a residentialdwelling 25. Article 5-A License Application for 2 yearArticle 5-A License NYSDAM may request an examination of the premises equipment and facilities Complete drawing and specifications for new construction, new business and alterations of existing premises must be submitted to NYSDAM 26. Article 5-A Licenses Subject to NYSDAM Inspections Results may be made available to the public uponrequest Sanitation and Cleanliness Requirements Animal Health Requirements Human Health Requirements Animal Handling Techniques 27. InsuranceCommercialInsuranceProducts LiabilityInsurance 28. Land Use & Zoning 29. Zoning Tools Utilized to PromoteSmall-Scale Agriculture Production Comprehensive Plans Zoning Ordinances Definitions Uses allowed As of Right Accessory Uses Special Use or Conditional Use Permits Overlay Districts Home-Based Business Regulations 30. Backyard Chickens Cities that allow for the use of backyardchickens may place specifications on thefollowing: number of hens, setbacks for coops/pens, number of roosters (if allowed at all), neighbor consent, pest control, and feed storage. 31. Beekeeping Local zoning ordinances that allow for urbanapiaries may post regulations for the lot sizeand setbacks Beekeepers may still be subject to tortliability People v. McOmber 32. Agriculture DistrictsArticle XIV, Section 4 of theNYS Constitution providesfor the policy of New Yorkto encourage thedevelopment andimprovement of itsagriculture lands for theproduction of food andother agricultural products 33. Agriculture Districts Article 25-AA of NY Agric. & Mkts Law Local governments, when exercising their powersto enact and administer comprehensive plans andlocal laws, ordinances, rules or regulations, shallexercise these powers in such manner as mayrealize the policy and goals set forth in thisarticle, and shall not unreasonably restrict orregulate farm operations within agriculturaldistricts in contravention of the purposes of thisarticle unless it can be sh


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