Cottage Food Regulations

Resent cottage regulation (N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.16) from the New Jersey Board of Health which legalized the sale of baked goods, and other kitchen requiring foods, by individuals to individual. It was previously illegal to bake outside of a commercial kitchen for sale. Now the person dreaming of starting a cup cake side hustle can do so.

The Word “Honey”

This regulation however included “Honey” in their definition of a cottage food leading to the destruction of the back yard beekeeping industry for those that sell their surplus honey to the local stores and for those that collect substantial income from their bees.

Change and Double Regulation

Honey is a raw agricultural product regulated by the Department of Agriculture, not the Department of Health. This is the logical way for regulation as Honey is not processed similar to the way that a carrot is not processed or changed when it is harvest, stored in a basket, and then finally put into a smaller bag which you will purchase. The new Department of Health regulation implies that honey is manipulated, the way a carrot is when it is cleaned, boiled and sugar is added for a sweet carrot product.

What this change in who regulates Honey means is that there is extra cost that will have to happen before a beekeeper can sell a drop of honey.

Limiting Sales

The new regulation changes and limits where and how a beekeeper can sell their extra honey. HarBee Beekeeping started with selling surplus honey at the local hardwear store. This law outlaws this practice. The Regulation limits to direct to consumer sales and outlaws online sales completely.

Limiting to direct to consumer and outlawing online sales means even cup cake makers and other cottage food makers CAN NOT USE LOCAL HONEY. This law forces resellers to only sell honey from larger beekeeping operations. We are grateful that HarBee can afford to rent space at a local commercial kitchen to pour our honey so we CAN sell online and to health food stores.

However, we can’t rent that extra space without passing on that extra expense onto you our customers. It bring me (Patrick Harrison) great upset to have to raise prices.


Read the law, it is actually a great piece of regulation an act of deregulated of the cottage food makers. However we feel ,at HarBee, that the word “Honey” was accidently included or the author of the law meant “Pasteurized Honey”. Ether way we need that work Honey removed. CLICK HERE TO LINK TO LAW

Contact your elected official. We need that word removed and it is those in charge governing use at the state level that can do so. HERE IS A LINK TO FIND YOUR OFFICIAL

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