We had our local beekeepers organization meeting tonight. Had the person in charge of the PA State inspection program as a speaker.....excellent and very informative and yes, PA will have inspectors this year (5 1/2 full time inspectors) , no problem with that. Our inspectors have always been well educated on bees and very helpful. PA has decided that extracting honey comes under Home Food Processing and are going to impose the same rules on someone who extracts honey one or two days a year, as someone who bakes in their home several days a week.
I was reading over the Guidance and Requirements for Home Food Processors ( the paper work that was handed out tonight)…..I don't think these people have a clue about beekeeping and honey production. The first line puts most beekeepers out of the honey business..1. No animals/pets are permitted in the home at any time. And the application will stop anyone who does not have pets………. Water test I can sort of let pass, but a certificate from a Certified Sewage Enforcement Officer?? Zoning approval!!!!! A business plan!!!!! And an employee health policy!!!!!! And let's not forget the main thing THE STATES FEES!!!!! Just so you can sell some of your extra honey at the local farmers market??? OK two more blood pressure pills and I will be good. -------------------OK I'm good. I don't disagree that some sort of registration would be good, but I think they are going overboard on something that has not (I do not think ever ) caused a food borne illness outbreak. My head is about to explode and oh how I hate having to use duct tape to hold it all together again.
Someone mentioned Florida had done something like this and was now changing it to better fit beekeeping and honey processing, anyone know anything about that? I own a food business and have dealt with this since we worked out of our home, 20 years ago, so I understand that when the paper work is all in, allot of it means nothing. But I also know that most beekeepers in our group will stop selling their honey before they even fill out the 5 pages of the application. A business plan and zoning approval to extract honey 2 days a year?? Can we just be reasonable??