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MGM

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BUT...when you go on to read the story, there were issues with her overall manufacturing "facility", storage, and processes. I think just about every soap maker starts out in their kitchen and while they are probably taking the same care and concern in making soap as they make supper for their family, the requirements for making a consumable products are much, much higher.
Yeah that was my take-away...whatever triggered it (and I agree that saying the *smell* is medicinal isn't claiming your product is a drug!), *IT* ended up being a big hairy deal. And that doesn't even count the civil claims that someone could (in theory) bring against an entrepreneur (which could then trigger FDA inspections, or the civil case could be bolstered by the results of an FDA inspection); the US is a pretty litigious society.
Any time I think about selling, I remember allllllll of this, and suggest that my "customers" make a donation to the charity of their choice :)
 

TheGecko

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Yeah that was my take-away...whatever triggered it (and I agree that saying the *smell* is medicinal isn't claiming your product is a drug!), *IT* ended up being a big hairy deal. And that doesn't even count the civil claims that someone could (in theory) bring against an entrepreneur (which could then trigger FDA inspections, or the civil case could be bolstered by the results of an FDA inspection); the US is a pretty litigious society.

Any time I think about selling, I remember allllllll of this, and suggest that my "customers" make a donation to the charity of their choice :)
While I understand why the FDA got involved in the first place, I don't understand their continued involvement if it was determined that she was just selling 'soap' because 'true soap' doesn't fall under their jurisdiction. That leave me to believe that she is selling more than "true soap", that she has crossed over to 'cosmetic' and now is under their radar.
 

TheGecko

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This is great advice! I’d rather comply from the start. So, I’m looking to see how I can ready this new area as I’m organizing it. Is the HSCG insurance (Veracity) what most soap sellers have? Also, HSCG seems to be a good resource for requirements. Any others?
If you PM me with you email address, I can send you a write up I did for YouTube soaper. I don't know a lot about the HSCG, but I did include a lot of information I had gleaned from official and notable sources and links.
 

TheGecko

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I’ve taken the cautionary tales to heart and am considering getting all my legal ducks in a row, as I go. I’m not there yet, but am moving in that general direction. And, this isn’t perfect, but it sure does beat working upstairs in the kitchen!
I'm jealous! That looks great. The article said something about metal cages for light fixtures...which I believe is to make it difficult to accidently strike the bulbs.
 

MGM

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While I understand why the FDA got involved in the first place, I don't understand their continued involvement if it was determined that she was just selling 'soap' because 'true soap' doesn't fall under their jurisdiction. That leave me to believe that she is selling more than "true soap", that she has crossed over to 'cosmetic' and now is under their radar.
hmmmm that's true. I forgot that in the US there's the soap/non-soap split (in Canada it's all Health Canada). This makes me wonder if the story is a bit apocryphal....either way, guess she could get a visit from any regulating agency, but you're right, it's a bit odd...
 

mtinetti61

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Just out of curiosity, what is the cost of insurance for soapmaking?
 

TashaBird

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I'm jealous! That looks great. The article said something about metal cages for light fixtures...which I believe is to make it difficult to accidently strike the bulbs.
The main light is the long led light. I hope to get some more of those.

I should have said soap selling....
HSCG membership is $175 and I think the insurance was $275. Those were both for the smallest scale of selling available.
 

TheGecko

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hmmmm that's true. I forgot that in the US there's the soap/non-soap split (in Canada it's all Health Canada). This makes me wonder if the story is a bit apocryphal....either way, guess she could get a visit from any regulating agency, but you're right, it's a bit odd...
In the US, soap making can fall into three areas...Consumer Commodity, Cosmetic and Drug (there is a fourth, but most artisan soap makers probably won't go there). Anyhoo...a True Soap, which is a soap that makes no other claims than that it will clean, is a Consumer Commodity and fall under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Fair Packaging and Label Act. It used to just be the later, but now it is a double-header. The rules are still the same...must be labeled correctly and make no other claims that it is 'soap' and will get you clean. You don't even need to list your ingredients.

Now if your soap contains any synthetic detergents or is 'moisturizing' or contains 'moisturizing shea butter' or makes you smell good or changes your appearance...like shampoo or shave soaps...it is a Cosmetic. It is governed by the FDA (food and drug administration), but it's still pretty loosy goosy...registration is voluntary, you DO need to list your ingredients and list them in order predominance, neither product or the ingredients need approval though you need to make sure you are using approved color additives and you are solely responsible for making sure your product is safe.

Now if you claim that you soap is "antibacterial" and will help folks with acne or eczema, it falls under the FDA too, but it's a lot stricter. You'll have to register your company, you'll have to submit a list of all your products and recipes, you can be required to submit samples for testing, your soap has to be approval for sale and so on and so forth.

And of course, once under the jurisdiction of the FDA, you are subject to inspection and compliance thereof of manufacturing processes, et al.
 

The Park Bench

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I have been using a Waring Professional single plug in burner for 7 or 8 years now. It goes from 1 - 5 for heat levels. I always try to use NSF equipment because I feel it will not only last longer but will be easier to clean.
 

TashaBird

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I have been using a Waring Professional single plug in burner for 7 or 8 years now. It goes from 1 - 5 for heat levels. I always try to use NSF equipment because I feel it will not only last longer but will be easier to clean.
What is NSF?
 

shunt2011

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I had read this "a surprise visit for the FDA" I think the main issue that caused the inspection was the lady was labeling her soaps as medicinal! I have been soaping for about 2 weeks and even I know you shouldn't do that. Making soap and selling soap are 2 completely different entities and if selling interests you, you better do your research before you try to market and sell a product that will be used on skin and sometimes looks like food. I want to sell soap but it sounds incredibly risky...definitely wouldn't do it without insurance.
It's not a problem making and selling soap that looks like food. I make cupcake soaps and sometimes ice cream soap and have been selling them for years. Insurance is a must and of course you have to have a Tax ID# and register your name with the clerks office.

Labeling them appropriately is most important. I get my insurance from WSP. I had HSCG but they were expensive in comparison for me anyway.
 

TashaBird

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It's not a problem making and selling soap that looks like food. I make cupcake soaps and sometimes ice cream soap and have been selling them for years. Insurance is a must and of course you have to have a Tax ID# and register your name with the clerks office.

Labeling them appropriately is most important. I get my insurance from WSP. I had HSCG but they were expensive in comparison for me anyway.
WSP?
 

TashaBird

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It's not a problem making and selling soap that looks like food. I make cupcake soaps and sometimes ice cream soap and have been selling them for years. Insurance is a must and of course you have to have a Tax ID# and register your name with the clerks office.

Labeling them appropriately is most important. I get my insurance from WSP. I had HSCG but they were expensive in comparison for me anyway.
I just scoured the WSP website looking for their insurance and I don’t see any. Could you possibly please post a link? I swear I did look for it!
 

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