Is it illegal to sell something from a cookbook in a bake sale?

I need to know because i need some dough, and thought a bake sale would be perfect. but i don't know if its illegal to sell something from cookbooks.

8 Answers

  • sage
    Lv 4
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    technically bake sales themselves are illegal (including church, club and charity).

    the reason being is that there are so many restrictions to selling home cooked foods set by the FDA as well as state and local health codes. this is just a small sample of these restrictions.

    Area of regulation

    "Food" within the context of FDA is a very broad term with some limitations. Products that contain meat are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, with the exception of seafood and some exotic meats. The regulation of eggs is similarly complicated by shared responsibilities between the two agencies.

    Many other federal and state agencies have some overlapping or conflicting requirements for regulation of food products. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates levels of allowable contaminants in public drinking water, where the FDA regulates bottled water.

    Regulation of food also includes food additives such as preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Controversies over preservatives were very important in the early days of the FDA, where volunteers participated in experimental meals with high doses of the chemicals to determine their toxicity. Levels of undesirable food additives, such as methyl mercury in canned tuna, are the responsibility of the FDA.

    FDA maintains a list of additives that are used in food in the United States as well as a list of additives Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS, pronounced grass). Products that contain ingredients that are not GRAS are usually dietary supplements (for example, many energy drinks contain stimulants which are not GRAS).

    Food products may make health claims, such as the "Heart Healthy" labels on foods high in fiber. Each specific claim must be submitted and is based on the content of the food, it is not an approval of a specific product. Dietary supplements may make "structure or function" claims but cannot legally claim to cure or prevent disease unless they meet an approved health claim as a food product.

    CFSAN is also responsible for food labeling, specifically the "Nutrition Facts" panel typically seen on packaged foods. Ingredient declarations are also required, and this is important for consumers with food allergies

    Regulation of food includes evaluations of products which are used in food handling and storage, referred to as "food contact surfaces." Problems in this area include lead based glazes that are used to decorate ceramic dishes.

    [edit] Areas of concern

    * Biological Pathogens

    * Dietary Supplements

    * Toxic Metals

    * Food Allergens

    * Nutrient Concerns

    * Pesticide residue

    * Naturally occurring toxins

    * Decomposition and Filth

    * Dietary Components

    * Radionuclides

    * TSE-type diseases

    * Product tampering


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  • Janice
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I'm not sure about Alabama, but I lived in Tennessee and I now live in Illinois and it is illegal in both states. I think it's illegal to sell anything now a days that not already packaged. I would avoid any problems and simply buy some cokes or individually wrapped treats to sell. A lot of people won't buy them either because they are homemade. No one knows what you put in them. (No offensive intended.) I think the only time you can sell homemade goods are at a bake sale authorized by a school or government agency.

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  • 10 years ago

    I am an Intellectual Property Paralegal, but am not allowed to give advice, as I am not an attorney. (tricky legal stuff). Therefore, I found a link on Yahoo Answers that may help you. It suggests that even when you write a cookbook, if you change something in the recipe or the equipment that you use to make it (food processor versus mixer) that it hard for anyone to prove it is their recipe.

    You can use a different sweetener such as agave syrup (adding less of other liquids) and then sell them as a lower glycemic indexed food, which is really hot right now, but agave syrup is not cheap.

    You can add nuts, dried fruit, etc.

    Add almond extract instead of vanilla; use a little less sugar; add a bit of fruit juice instead of all milk, etc.

    Create, enjoy, and have fun!

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  • 10 years ago

    At a bake sale, it's understood that the items made come from a variety of recipes, even "old family recipes" often came from some other source at some point in time. It would only be an issue if you were trying to claim it as YOUR recipe and selling it on your own. The only other problem you would have would be if you bought baked goods fromthe store and tried to resell them at the bake sale.

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  • 10 years ago

    I don't think anyone cares about a one time bake sale unless you happen to be sitting in the booth next to the person or company that made the original recipe and competing for business! I guess "technically" it would be but I consider bake sales kind of like garage sales. Again, people only tend to worry if you're trying to make a living off of it long term.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    absolutely not! If anyone ask about a certain item, just tell them the name of the cookbook where you got the recipe from!

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  • 10 years ago


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  • 10 years ago

    No, it's not illegal. That's what cookbooks are for. DUH

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