Are you a food producer in South Carolina looking to jump on the elderberry syrup trend?
Before you start making and selling this popular product, it’s important to understand the regulations and requirements for ensuring food safety.
Elderberry syrup is a unique product that can be sold retail or wholesale, classified as a food or dietary supplement, and prepared as a shelf-stable or refrigerated food.
With so many variables, it’s no wonder that the production and sales requirements for elderberry syrup can be complicated.
But fear not! In this article, we’ll break down the regulations and testing requirements for selling elderberry syrup in South Carolina, so you can confidently bring this delicious and nutritious product to market.
Can I Sell Elderberry Syrup?
The short answer is yes, you can sell elderberry syrup in South Carolina. However, there are certain regulations and requirements that must be met in order to ensure the safety of the product for consumers.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand how elderberry syrup is classified and regulated. Depending on how it’s prepared and marketed, elderberry syrup can be classified as a food or dietary supplement. This can impact the labeling and testing requirements for the product.
Additionally, elderberry syrup can be sold retail or wholesale, and can be prepared as a shelf-stable or refrigerated food. Each of these factors can impact the production and sales requirements for the product.
In order to ensure food safety, it’s important to follow the regulation requirements for producing and selling elderberry syrup in South Carolina. This may include obtaining proper licensing and permits, following safe food handling practices, and conducting regular testing to ensure the product meets food safety standards.
It’s also important to note that there are limits to what can be sold as an artisanal food producer. Cottage food laws do not allow for selling products in a pop-up shop in a restaurant, as home kitchens are not licensed or inspected for safe food handling practices.
Understanding Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup is a fast-growing food trend that has gained popularity due to its potential health benefits. It is made by extracting juice from elderberries and adding sweeteners and other ingredients to create a syrup that can be consumed on its own or added to other foods and beverages.
When it comes to producing elderberry syrup, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to ensure the safety of the product. The FDA requires that any syrup be at least 60% solids, which means that the syrup must be thick enough to meet this standard of identity. In addition, the syrup must have a low enough pH level to prevent the growth of potentially dangerous microbes.
There are also different ways to classify and market elderberry syrup, which can impact the production and sales requirements. For example, if the syrup is marketed as a dietary supplement, it may need to follow additional labeling and testing requirements.
When it comes to selling elderberry syrup, it’s important to follow proper food safety practices and regulations. This may include obtaining proper licensing and permits, conducting regular testing for food safety, and following safe food handling practices.
Regulations For Selling Elderberry Syrup In South Carolina
If you’re interested in selling elderberry syrup in South Carolina, there are several regulations and requirements that must be met. First and foremost, it’s important to understand how elderberry syrup is classified and regulated. Depending on how it’s prepared and marketed, elderberry syrup can be classified as a food or dietary supplement. This can impact the labeling and testing requirements for the product.
To sell elderberry syrup in South Carolina, you may need to obtain proper licensing and permits. This can include a food service establishment permit from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), as well as any necessary business licenses or permits from your local government.
In addition, it’s important to follow safe food handling practices when producing and selling elderberry syrup. This may include following proper hygiene practices, using clean equipment and utensils, and storing the product at the appropriate temperature.
Regular testing may also be required to ensure that the product meets food safety standards. This can include testing for contaminants such as bacteria, mold, and yeast.
It’s important to note that there are limits to what can be sold as an artisanal food producer. Cottage food laws do not allow for selling products in a pop-up shop in a restaurant, as home kitchens are not licensed or inspected for safe food handling practices.
Testing Requirements For Elderberry Syrup
When producing elderberry syrup for sale in South Carolina, there are specific testing requirements that must be met to ensure the safety of the product. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) regulates elderberry syrup sold as a wholesale food product, and producers must follow certain guidelines to obtain a Registration Verification Certificate (RVC) before products can be sold.
To obtain an RVC, producers must first produce the food in an approved facility that meets SCDA standards. Home kitchens are not approved for this purpose. The pH of both shelf-stable and refrigerated elderberry syrups must be tested to ensure the finished pH is 4.1 or lower. If the finished pH is not 4.1 or lower, the syrup must be acidified. Most shelf-stable elderberry syrups will be classified as an “acidified food,” which will require that the producer attend a Better Process Control School for acidified foods and file their facility and process with the FDA.
It’s important to note that if the recipe for the product is changed after testing, the processing authority must re-test the product’s new recipe. In addition, product labels must be reviewed by the SCDA, and regular inspections by the SCDA are required to ensure ongoing compliance with food safety standards.
Retail Vs Wholesale Sales Of Elderberry Syrup
When it comes to selling elderberry syrup, producers have the option to sell either retail or wholesale. Retail sales refer to selling directly to consumers, such as through farmers markets or online stores. Wholesale sales, on the other hand, involve selling to businesses or other producers who will then sell the product to consumers.
The decision to sell retail or wholesale can have a significant impact on the production and sales requirements for elderberry syrup. For example, if selling wholesale, the product may need to meet certain packaging and labeling requirements that are not necessary for retail sales.
Furthermore, wholesalers may have more stringent requirements when it comes to volume, pricing, and food safety standards. This means that producers looking to sell elderberry syrup wholesale may need to invest in additional equipment or resources to meet these requirements.
It’s also important to note that different buyers may have different priorities when it comes to purchasing elderberry syrup. For example, some buyers may prioritize consistency of supply and price over organic certification. Producers should make sure they understand the requirements and preferences of potential buyers before deciding whether to sell retail or wholesale.
Food Vs Dietary Supplement Classification For Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup can be classified as either a food or a dietary supplement, depending on how it is marketed and prepared. If it is marketed as a food, it must comply with food labeling requirements and be prepared in a way that meets food safety standards. On the other hand, if it is marketed as a dietary supplement, it must comply with dietary supplement labeling requirements and be manufactured in accordance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).
One key difference between the two classifications is that dietary supplements are not regulated in the same way as foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed, as they do with drugs. Instead, the responsibility falls on the manufacturer to ensure that their product is safe and accurately labeled.
It’s important to note that there are specific guidelines for what can be marketed as a dietary supplement. For example, a product cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement if it is represented for use as a conventional food or if it contains an ingredient that has been approved as a drug.
As an artisanal food producer, it’s important to understand the classification of your product and ensure that you are following the appropriate regulations and requirements for your chosen classification. This may include conducting regular testing to ensure that your product meets safety standards, properly labeling your product, and obtaining any necessary permits or licenses.
Shelf-Stable Vs Refrigerated Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup can be prepared as a shelf-stable or refrigerated food, but what’s the difference between the two? Shelf-stable elderberry syrup is made in two parts, with an alcohol or vinegar infusion, and then an elderberry and honey syrup is added. This process makes it an oxymel, which is a type of herbal remedy that combines honey and vinegar. The finished product can be stored in bottles or jars for winter cold and flu season without the need for canning or refrigeration.
On the other hand, refrigerated elderberry syrup must be stored in the refrigerator upon arrival because it contains fresh ingredients and doesn’t include preservatives or additives. While some store-bought elderberry syrups may claim to be shelf-stable, they often contain preservatives that are unhealthy for our bodies. Refrigerating the syrup helps ensure it stays fresh and lasts its full 60 day shelf life.
It’s important to note that both shelf-stable and refrigerated elderberry syrups can be sold as long as they meet the regulation requirements for food safety. However, it’s up to the producer to decide which method works best for their production process and marketing strategy.