Regulations vary from state to state. Check with your state Department of Agriculture or local Health Department to determine which regulations you need to follow.

Pennsylvania Regulations

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services is responsible for enforcing food regulations and inspecting food establishments. Working closely with a PDA sanitarian as early as possible in your business development can save you time and money.

Setting up a food-processing business in your home has advantages and disadvantages. You can make your own schedule and cut commuting expenses. On the other hand, there may be added costs involved in getting your kitchen up to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) sanitary standards, and working at home will definitely impact your family—just ask any successful entrepreneur.

Contact your nearest PDA office for questions on Pennsylvania food regulations.

Establishments under this program would include, a building, or place or portion thereof, or vehicle maintained, used or operated for the purpose of commercially storing, packaging, making, cooking, mixing, processing, bottling, baking, canning, freezing, packing or otherwise preparing or transporting or handling food.


Necessary forms and applications for obtaining a Registration from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Instructions for water, sewer, waste, zoning requirements, and required food safety systems are included.

“Limited food establishments” may include, but are not limited to: Warehousing (storing) food on a residential property, Processing/handling food from a home -residential kitchen, Processing/handling food in a residential-style kitchen (not meeting regulatory standards), in alternate locations, such as a church, fire hall, or remodeled garage area or out-building.

Form for registering with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Food safety and sanitation requirements for retail food establishments. PA Code Title 7 Chapter 46. Adopted December 12, 2003

What are the rules? Where are the contacts? Who are the regulators? Food safety standards for beef, pork, sheep, goat, poultry, rabbit, game and exotic meats.

FDA Canning Regulations

All commercial processors, when first engaging in the manufacture, processing, or packing of low acid or acidified foods in any state must register with the FDA on Form FDA 2541 (Food Canning Establishment Registration; 21 CFR 108.25). This form must be filed not later than 10 days after the firm engages in operations.

In addition, the firm must file a scheduled process with the FDA on Form FDA 2541a not later than 60 days after registration, and before packing any new product. Firms already registered and engaged in the processing of acidified foods need only file Form FDA 2541a, for each new acidified food in each container size.

Food Process Filing for Low-Acid Retorted Method (Form FDA 2541d) and Food Process Filing for Acidified Method (Form FDA 2541e)

PDF, 1.4 MB

This document is intended for: Commercial processors that manufacture, process, or pack acidified foods (AF) and/or thermally processed low-acid foods packaged in hermetically sealed containers (historically referred to as “low-acid canned foods” or “LACF”)

PDF, 675.6 kB

This document is intended for:Commercial processors that manufacture, process, or pack acidified foods (AF) and/or thermally processed low-acid foods packaged in hermetically sealed containers (historically referred to as “low-acid canned foods” or “LACF”.

Access to electronic canning facility registration and acidified and low acid food process filing.

Are you a small business with questions about your FDA-regulated product? Contact information for FDA headquarters, regional and district offices, and small business representatives.

Background, discussion and recommendations on canning specific acidified canned food products. September 2010.

FDA requires processors of hermetically sealed acidified and low-acid foods to attend a Better Process Control School. Topics include thermal processing systems, acidification, sanitation, and container closure evaluation. Each processor must operate with a certified supervisor on hand at all times during processing. A list of upcoming Better Process Control Schools is maintained by the GMA Association of Food, Beverage and Consumer Products Companies.

FDA Labeling Regulations

Food labels allow consumers to compare one product to another. They give instructions for safe handling and storage, as well as identify the firm responsible for the product. Labels list ingredients to help consumers choose foods with ingredients they want or need to avoid.

A summary of the required statements that must appear on food labels. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition

USDA Labeling Regulations

Guidelines for mandatory labeling of USDA regulated meat and poultry products.

PDF, 782.2 kB

This book is intended to assist farmers and their advisors in understanding the regulations affecting the processing and sale of meat and poultry. Penn State University, 2000

Nutritional Labeling Regulations

Information sheet and sample form for application of small business nutritional exemption form. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition

Generic instructions for developing and preparing an acceptable data base when valid estimates of nutrient content and variation are not available for the food (single or mixed products) to be labeled.

Trademark Regulations

How to register a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Product Recall Guidance and Regulations

General information on the recall process and recall news from USDA

PDF, 17.1 kB

A commercial processor engaged in the processing of acidified foods is required by 21CFR108.25 to prepare and maintain a written recall plan. Guidelines for product recalls are contained in 21CFR7. North Carolina Department of Food Science