Anyone know what the rules are for sites like those when it comes to the Cottage Law? There's so many people out there who make fondant and other decorations pre made for you to buy. Just wondering how that works.
Thanks in advance.
I was recently wondering that as well. I was thinking that since plastic decorations (i.e. cupcake picks) can be sold to be placed on food, why can't gum paste flowers if they are labeled "for decoration only", which they are anyway due to the wires and the fact that they aren't palatable. I don't know the actual rule here, but just sharing my thought process.
I have seen edible decorations for sale on Etsy and have looked into setting up a shop on there to sell baked goods. I do know that you have to prove that you work out of a licensed kitchen in order to sell there even if you live in a state that does not require an inspection in order to sell food.
Even if your state has a Cottage Food Law, you would still need a licensed commercial kitchen if you are selling food online, since someone in a state without a CFL could purchase your product. You would also need to register with the FDA and follow their rules.
Etsy doesn't require anything to sell on their site in the way of licenses and such - which is why they have thousands of illegal bakers selling and shipping food thru them (I'd venture to guess most other sellers are probably not following all the rules for their stuff either). Etsy was created especially for the home crafter to sell online off radar. It's only been over the past few years that cupcakes and such started popping up.
When you start dealing with gumpaste flowers, decorations and fake cakes, that's where stuff changes. Gumpaste is edible, but when you stick a wire in it and color it with non-toxic colorings, it becomes a decoration not for consumption and I believe can be sold as a craft without needing cottage laws. FDA is another story, you'd have to check with them to see if you'd need to follow their guidelines since the items you are making, although not edible themselves, will be placed on food.
This is based on research I've done online and my interpretation of what I read regarding the legalities, so I could be wrong. No harm in calling your local HD to make sure
Your State Dept of Ag can get you started with FDA guidelines. They have the application which is a wealth of info.
And remember, if you are accused of making someone sick, the Feds will be knocking, not the county HD. They will also automatically alert the IRS.