Labeling Cakes Under Cottage Food Law

Business By jcasey51 Updated 21 Jan 2015 , 11:57pm by BakerBlackCat

jcasey51 Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 10:00pm
post #1 of 37

Michigan just passed a cottage food law. Yay!!!!

My question is, if the cake is not "packaged" how do you handle the labeling? Do you just do this on a sheet of paper separate from the cake, rather than a sticker that would be on something in a package? Or would all cake have to be in a package of some sort with a label directly on the package?

I can see how this would apply at farmers market, etc. where individual items are packaged for sale, but does it really apply to a special order cake?

I am so excited I could burst!! Can't wait to turn on the oven.

36 replies
indydebi Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 10:24pm
post #2 of 37

I'd say, legally speaking, if the law says it has to be labeled then it has to be labeled, whether it's special order, in a box, or not.

Usually bills have the details on this stuff. Have you been able to obtain a copy of the bill to see the exact wording? (and if it 'just passed', you might want to check to see when it goes into effect .... sometimes bills are immediate, sometimes they have a delayed start date).

costumeczar Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 11:40pm
post #3 of 37

I'd ask the health department directly. I had the same question because everything that I make is delivered and set up by me, not picked up in bakery boxes by the client. They told me that if I delivered it from the point of baking to the point of where it would be served, and if I had a chance at some point to talk directly with the client to answer any questions about the ingredients, I was exempt from the labelling. (This is for wedding cakes, etc. )

The inspector who came to my house told me that I still needed to label, though, so I told him that I'd spoken to Ms. XYZ at the office where he worked, and she had told me about the exemption. He said, "Oh, okay, that makes sense." Then he suggested that I still take some kind of a sheet that lists the common allergens that are in it with me to the delivery, so I do that. I make sure to give it to the person who will be cutting the cake so that they can answer any questions if guests have them.

jcasey51 Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 11:52pm
post #4 of 37

The law is effective immediately. The bill only says items need to be pre-packaged and properly labeled. What kind of "package" can a tiered cake go in?

costumeczar Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 11:58pm
post #5 of 37

Either a really big box if someone's picking it up, or nothing if you deliver and set it up. That's why you need to check and see what the situation is regarding wedding cakes. When they write these laws they're mostly thinking about farmer's markets and items that will be sold in packaging.

jcasey51 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 2:19am
post #6 of 37

Thanks for your help

Jaimelt76 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 2:30am
post #7 of 37

I was going to print it on the back of my invoice that I hand to them at delivery. If I am able to label a box I will but some cakes just won't go into a box.

sweeteecakes Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:17pm
post #8 of 37

What about on the bottom on the cake board? Just let them know where it is upon delivery. The invoice idea sound great too! Put it right in the area of the price!

cakemadam21 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:35pm
post #9 of 37

Isn't it just wonderful jcasey51!?!? I had the same questions as you did, I called the Gov. office but I had to leave a message as they weren't answering where they directed me to. If I hear something, I will post it. Yayyyyyy!!!!!!!!

jcasey51 Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 3:07am
post #10 of 37

cakemadam...I would love to hear what you find out. I found this guide today-

http://michigan.gov/documents/mda/MDA_CFLblngGuide-MASTER_327559_7.pdf

My question on this is if I'm using a box cake mix, which doesn't list the weights of each ingredient, how do I know how my eggs, oil, and water compare by weight to the sugar, flour, etc. that are in the box of mix so I can list them in the correct order??

Where are you in Mich? I'm in Sterling Hts (Macomb Co.)

cakemadam21 Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 6:04am
post #11 of 37

Hi jcasey51, I'm in Warren, just a hop, skip and jump from you. I haven't heard anything as of yet but thanks for your posts and I've been reading the other posts as well. It's just wonderful though I tell ya!

Loucinda Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 12:58pm
post #12 of 37

In Ohio, you just list the ingredients (descending order) and then put the final weight of the entire product. You don't have to list the weight of each ingredient.

mpetty Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 1:06pm
post #13 of 37

My understanding is that you don't have to list the weight of each ingredient, you list them in order of the weight - the ingredient that weighs the most gets listed first, then the one that weighs the second most, etc.

My only concern is that it's embarrassing to those of us who use cake mixes, since that would have to be listed first - but then again, let's PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE not start that debate again....

emrldsky Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 1:11pm
post #14 of 37

Under the Indiana law, it's order by weight in descending order, and if you're using a name-brand box mix, you state "DH Dark Chocolate Fudge box mix" in the list, in the order it should appear.

Also, check with your law, because in Indiana, there is the option of having a card with that information on it, that you can then hand to the customer.

HTH!

jcasey51 Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 1:40pm
post #15 of 37

emrldsky - just want to make sure I understand what you are saying. Our law is the same, by weight in descending order. So, I would list the box mix as an ingredient based on the weight given on the package, and then order the rest of the ingredients by weight as they compare to the whole mix? I know I am also required to list all ingredients in the box mix in parentheses after I list the mix. I'm gonna have a LONG list of ingredients after putting in all of that!

I know I don't have to list the weight of each ingredient, but I need to know those weights in order to put them in the correct order. That was what I was getting at with not knowing the weight of sugar in the box mix. Not that I have to print it, but just that I need to know the weight so I can order it correctly. But if I can just list the box mix as an ingredient, then I will know the weight of that.

emrldsky Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 1:44pm
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcasey51

emrldsky - just want to make sure I understand what you are saying. Our law is the same, by weight in descending order. So, I would list the box mix as an ingredient based on the weight given on the package, and then order the rest of the ingredients by weight as they compare to the whole mix? I know I am also required to list all ingredients in the box mix in parentheses after I list the mix. I'm gonna have a LONG list of ingredients after putting in all of that!




My research on our law doesn't address listing the ingredients from the box mix (mostly because you can look at the box mix I used and find those if you really want to know).

Say for example, I have used flour, sugar, a box mix, eggs, and sour cream. Depending on how much things weigh (and following IN state regulations of heaviest first), it could go like:

Sour cream
Duncan Hines (whatever flavor) box mix
Sugar
Flour
Eggs

If I'm wrong, someone please correct me! lol I've read that law up, down, side-to-side and backwards.

costumeczar Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 1:54pm
post #17 of 37

I don't know the exact answer for the box mix thing, but I'd assume that you'd need to list all the ingredients that are in the boxed mix in parentheses after the name of the mix. They list ingredients so that people can see what's in it, so just saying the name of the mix wouldn't be enough info. If someone is looking for a certain ingredient they're allergic to, or whatever, they'd need the whole list.

emrldsky Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 1:55pm
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I don't know the exact answer for the box mix thing, but I'd assume that you'd need to list all the ingredients that are in the boxed mix in parentheses after the name of the mix. They list ingredients so that people can see what's in it, so just saying the name of the mix wouldn't be enough info. If someone is looking for a certain ingredient they're allergic to, or whatever, they'd need the whole list.




Let me read the Indiana law again and see what I can find.

jcasey51 Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 1:56pm
post #19 of 37

Here is a guide that they have provided. Since I have to list what is in butter icon_confused.gif I think I will have to list all ingredients in the box mix.

http://michigan.gov/documents/mda/MDA_CFLblngGuide-MASTER_327559_7.pdf

auntbeesbaking Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 2:06pm
post #20 of 37

Do I have to put a label on my Cottage Foods?
Yes, you are required to label your Cottage Foods. Here is an example of a label that should help you develop your own labels.

MADE IN A HOME KITCHEN NOT INSPECTED BY THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Artie Pinkster
123 Foodstuff Lane
Casserole City, MI 82682

Ingredients: Enriched flour (Wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid), butter (milk, salt), chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, butterfat (milk), Soy lecithin as an emulsifier), walnuts, sugar, eggs, salt, artificial vanilla extract, baking soda
Contains: wheat, eggs, milk, soy, walnuts

Net Wt. 3 oz

The basic information that must be on the label is as follows:
Name and address of the Cottage Food operation.
Name of the Cottage Food product.
The ingredients of the Cottage Food product, in descending order of predominance by weight. If you use a prepared item in your recipe, you must list the sub ingredients as well. For example: soy sauce is not acceptable, soy sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt) would be acceptable, please see the label above for further examples.
The net weight or net volume of the Cottage Food product.
Allergen labeling as specified in federal labeling requirements.
The following statement: Made in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture in at least the equivalent of 11-point font and in a color that provides a clear contrast to the background.

emrldsky Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 2:06pm
post #21 of 37

Alright, it doesn't address using things such as box mixes or commercially available products in the production of your food. This applies ONLY to the state of Indiana!!!!!!!

Here is what the ISHD Guidance for Uniform Use of HEA 1309 states, verbatim, under Labeling/Misbranded of HBV Food Products (Section 29(b)(5)):

Quote:
Quote:

There are some very specific labeling requirements for the food product of a HBV. Any food product provided by a HBV shall include a label which includes the following:
- The name and address of the producer of the food product.
- The common or usual name of the food product.
- The ingredients of the food product, in descending order by predominance by weight.
- The net weight and volume of the good product by standard measure or numerical count. (I don't leave this off, I just temporarily forgot.) icon_smile.gif
- The date on which the food product was processed.
- The following statement in AT LEAST 10 point type: "This product is home produced and processed and the production area has not been inspected by the State Department of Health."

This labeling must be present with and.or on the food at the point of sale regardless of whether or not the product is packaged. Unpackaged food, such as some baked items, should be considered "labeled" when there is easily readable signage accompanying the food product stating all of the above listed items. Labeling (or signage) is not required for whole, uncut produce. A HBV food product which is not labeled according to the Section 29(b)(5) is misbranded and may not be sold until the label is provided or corrected.




The actual act states in that section the same verbatim text for labeling. It does not address the usage of pre-packaged goods such as box mixes.

However, I see the point in doing so. icon_smile.gif I will be sure to add that to future labels.

jcasey51 Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 2:31pm
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by auntbeesbaking

Do I have to put a label on my Cottage Foods?
Yes, you are required to label your Cottage Foods.
The ingredients of the Cottage Food product, in descending order of predominance by weight. If you use a prepared item in your recipe, you must list the sub ingredients as well. For example: soy sauce is not acceptable, soy sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt) would be acceptable, please see the label above for further examples.




The original question wasn't do I have to label, but how to label the package for a tiered cake mostly. The idea of putting a beautiful cake in a cardboard packing box that says HOME DEPOT or U-HAUL all over it is not my first choice, but if it needs to be in a box with a label on it then that is what I will do.

As far as listing the ingredients, there are no definitions given for the terms they use. What is a "prepared item" exactly? Is it anything that has more than 1 ingredient? I want to make sure I do this right, but if I want sell individually packaged cupcakes at a farmers market, I don't think I can fit all of these ingredients on a label that will fit an individual cupcake package.

emrldsky Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 2:44pm
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcasey51

Quote:
Originally Posted by auntbeesbaking

Do I have to put a label on my Cottage Foods?
Yes, you are required to label your Cottage Foods.
The ingredients of the Cottage Food product, in descending order of predominance by weight. If you use a prepared item in your recipe, you must list the sub ingredients as well. For example: soy sauce is not acceptable, soy sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt) would be acceptable, please see the label above for further examples.



The original question wasn't do I have to label, but how to label the package for a tiered cake mostly. The idea of putting a beautiful cake in a cardboard packing box that says HOME DEPOT or U-HAUL all over it is not my first choice, but if it needs to be in a box with a label on it then that is what I will do.

As far as listing the ingredients, there are no definitions given for the terms they use. What is a "prepared item" exactly? Is it anything that has more than 1 ingredient? I want to make sure I do this right, but if I want sell individually packaged cupcakes at a farmers market, I don't think I can fit all of these ingredients on a label that will fit an individual cupcake package.




I think you should shoot an email to [email protected] and see if they will tell you. I cannot find it in the legalese.

TheCakerator Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 3:30pm
post #24 of 37

wow ... this labeling stuff has me ALL confused! I use boxed cake mixes in all my cakes and the buttercream dream recipe off this site .. I feel intimidated just thinking about labeling!

mccorda Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 3:32pm
post #25 of 37

A prepared item is anything that is not in its natural state. Butter is composed of cream from milk and sometimes salt. Flour is made from ground wheat and other additives. Sounds like we need to list the items the same way they are listed on the packaging we buy. If there is an ingredients list on the package, everything there is put as a sub-ingredient to that item on our ingredients list.

emrldsky Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 3:33pm
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mccorda

A prepared item is anything that is not in its natural state. Butter is composed of cream from milk and sometimes salt. Flour is made from ground wheat and other additives. Sounds like we need to list the items the same way they are listed on the packaging we buy. If there is an ingredients list on the package, everything there is put as a sub-ingredient to that item on our ingredients list.




That's exactly how it sounds. I'm going to update my label templates to reflect this.

costumeczar Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 5:02pm
post #27 of 37

I did a cake for a girl who was allergic to corn, and the page of chemical names I had to avoid was 4 pages long! It seems like a pain but I can see why they'd require you to list everything. I had to read those labels pretty carefully...

Loucinda Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 6:51pm
post #28 of 37

In Oho, you can print the label of ingredients on a sheet of paper to deliver along with a tiered cake - it doesn't have to be on the box. (as per my inspector) AND if you are licensed, you take off the "home baked" part. I was also told to take off the allergy blurb (may contain....) the inspector said that is what the labelling is for, that the allergy blurb is not needed OR required. Again, this is for OHIO.

TheCakerator Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 7:12pm
post #29 of 37

ay yi yi ... so much to learn!

jerseygirlNga Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 7:36pm
post #30 of 37

Thank God...We don't have this labeling law but if you will allow me, I have some suggestions:

Attach a copy to the final bill/receipt, if you have a balance to correct. Let the client know its there.

For future orders: Make your list for each recipe used. When the client places their order, pull each list and attach to invoice with contract.

OR

If you send a "thank you" for your order confirming the details, attach then.

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