Angie Culler-Matthews, Food Safety Director
123 Ballard Court
West Columbia, SC 29172
Food Safety & Compliance ensures that foods are manufactured and marketed under safe and sanitary conditions through routine surveillance inspections. Inspectors ensure that food is pure and wholesome, safe to eat, and properly labeled according to food safety laws and regulations. The department regulates foods manufactured for wholesale distribution.
South Carolina’s Home-based Food Production Law was amended in May 2022. We have collaborated with other state regulatory authorities to create the South Carolina Home-based Food Production Law Guidance book. Any questions about the law or home-based food production should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selling Food Products
Registration is required for persons or firms wishing to manufacture, prepare, repack, or sell most foods wholesale to other businesses. Selling to roadside markets, convenience stores, grocery stores or any other business is considered wholesale. A Registration Verification Certificate (RVC) must be obtained from SCDA prior to selling food products wholesale. To do so, you must register and use an approved facility. A domestic kitchen is NOT an acceptable facility. The registration process includes review of retail labels. Specialized training and product testing may be required for some products. Registration certificates are issued upon completion of a compliant food safety inspection by SCDA.
For more information or to register, contact RVCregistration@scda.sc.gov.
Product Labeling must be in accordance with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). Product labels must be submitted to SCDA to review for compliance with both laws. For general labeling assistance, refer to the Labeling Guidance.
Honey produced in South Carolina and sold to the public must be properly labeled in accordance with the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Honey sold to or at roadside markets, convenience stores, health food stores, etc., must come from a registered and approved source. Honey house requirements include cleanable walls and floors, approved water sources, shatterproof lighting, clean utensils and equipment, sinks, proper drainage, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) approved septic or sewer system. See the Food Processing Establishment Guide.
View the Honey Sales Quick Guide for more information on how to legally sell honey.
If you ONLY sell your honey directly to the end consumer (ie. farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer markets) and produce no more than 400 gallons (4,800 lbs.), you can apply for registration and inspection exemption.
Note: Honey sold to the public must be labeled properly, even if you apply for an exemption.
Apply for a Honey Exemption or View Honey Labeling Requirements
If you do not qualify for the SC Honey Exemption, you will need register with SCDA and use an approved honey house.
You may use a registered honey house that is currently being inspected by SCDA; however, you must submit a Shared Honey House Application along with your RVC application.
Eggs sold at a location other than a grower’s residence or farm must be washed, graded, sized, properly labeled and kept refrigerated at or below 45° F. Grading information can be found in the USDA’s Egg Grading Manual.
Only new or unused cartons can be used to package egg. Cartons cannot bear another producer’s or distributor’s information. The producer must obtain an egg license issued by SCDA. Unlabeled, ungraded or unsized eggs or eggs off refrigeration are considered adulterated and will be removed from public sale. Selling eggs in those categories or selling without an SCDA Egg License are considered misdemeanors and both carry fines.
Fish and Seafood
Fish and Seafood, whole and unprocessed, are under the jurisdiction of the SC Department of Natural Resources. If you want to buy and resell fish and seafood, whether whole and unprocessed or cleaned and processed, you will need a Commercial Fishing License or Wholesale License. If you do not have a Commercial Fishing License, then you must have a Wholesale License and buy from a licensed commercial fisherman or wholesaler. Regardless of the license you possess, you must do the following:
- Keep receipts and invoices on hand at all times (including at the point of sale).
- Keep fish and seafood refrigerated at 45° F or below, or properly iced at all times.
In order to clean and process fish and seafood, you must:
- Register with SCDA
- Operate out of an approved facility
- Be subject to the state and federal food safety regulations including completing Seafood HACCP Training.
Salvage operations dealing in foods and cosmetics must be permitted by SCDA, according to the South Carolina Food and Cosmetic Act. Permits expire June 30 of each year.
Other Food Products that do not fall in the above categories:
- If your product is sold retail only, call DHEC Food Protection at 803-896-0640.
- If your product contains more than 3% raw or 2% cooked beef, pork, chicken, or lamb, call SC Meat & Poultry at 803-788-8747.
- If your product is a Shellfish product only, call DHEC Shellfish at 843-238-4378.
- If your product is a dairy, soft drink or water product, call DHEC Dairy & Manufactured Foods at 803-896-0640.
- If your product is an alcoholic product, call ATF at 1-800-398-2282 or the SC Department of Revenue at 844-898-8542.
Helpful links for food safety, processing & packaging:
Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) program is housed under the Food/Feed Safety Compliance department of the Consumer Protection Division. The goal of MFRPS is to implement a nationally integrated, risk-based food safety system focused on protecting public health using a set of ten standards. SCDA’s MFRPS program handles consumer complaints regarding foods manufactured in South Carolina, assists in the coordination of in-state recall investigations, and helps ensure that SCDA Food Safety Inspectors follow best practices when performing routine surveillance inspections. You can learn more about MFRPS here.
Hemp Products in Food
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) is aware of the growing public interest in hemp and cannabis-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD), and will follow the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) position:
“FDA has concluded that it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food to which CBD has been added.”
SCDA has cooperative agreements with FDA to ensure compliance and the SCDA nor the FDA is aware of any evidence that would call into question these conclusions.
Interested parties may present any evidence that they think has bearing on this issue to FDA’s Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements number 240-402-2375.
If you would like more information on approved hemp food ingredients please refer to our Hemp Products in Human Food Guide.