This seems to be a national topic that's heating up in a number of states. I hadn't been aware of it, so I take the opportunity to pass it along.
This applies directly to Texas. As of June 2011, The Texas Cottage Food Law permits limited types of food preparation, mainly baked goods, jams and jellies, dried herbs, to be made in home kitchens (meaning not commercial kitchens which cannot be in a home) and sold from the home (no, not on the Internet - you can't ship it). It does this by exempting the home kitchen from the definition of a "food service establishment." It's primarily a thing for bakers operating from home. No food service permits. No food handlers licensing. No insurance required. No inspections. And you don't have to register.
Now this is state statute law, enacted by the legislature.
The Department of Health Services has proposed rule changes requiring labeling. It's apparently an attempt to impose their own rules on home bakers that the legislature removed from the definition of operations the Health Department could regulate. It would not appear that there's any way the Health Department can enforce their rules, should they adopt them, since there's no license to revoke.
All foods prepared by a cottage food production operation must be labeled.
(1) The label information shall include:
(A) the name and physical address of the cottage food production operation;
(B) the common or usual name of the product and an adequately descriptive statement of identity;
(C) if made from two or more ingredients, a list of ingredients in descending order of predominance by net weight, including a declaration of artificial color or flavor and chemical preservatives, if contained in the food;
(D) an accurate declaration of the net quantity of contents including metric measurements;
(E) allergen labeling in compliance with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, Pub. L. No. 108-282, Title II, 118. Stat. 905; and
(F) the following statement: "Made in home kitchen, food is not inspected by the Department of State Health Services or a local health department" in at least the equivalent of 11-point font and in a color that provides a clear contrast to the background.
(2) Labels must be clearly legible and printed with durable, permanent ink.
(A) Ingredient statements shall be at 1/16 of an inch or larger.
(B) Ingredients shall include components of the ingredients.
(C) Net quantity of contents shall be separated from other text on the label and must be located in the bottom third of the label
The Department will be getting an earfull during the 30-day comment period.They may well hear from the legislature in the next session. They are going for these rules based on a section of the law that says they can adopt labeling rules to include the name and address of the cottage food operation and a statement that the food is not inspected. I doubt the legislature anticipated the Health Department taking it to extremes. The proposed rules go beyond those for a regulated food service establishment.
Texas Cottage Food Law: Home Page