tea business and food safety standards

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by michaelgh, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. michaelgh

    michaelgh
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    Hi there!

    I was thinking of creating my custom tea bags. I will use factory made tea bags/pouches already filled with tea and wrap them into my own paper envelopes with some design printed on the outer side of the envelop.

    Do I need food safe paper for the envelopes? or regular office paper is fine?

    Are there any other restrictions or standards related to the food safety that I need to know about?


    Thank you
    Michael
     
  2. Fergal

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    What country would your business be based in Michael? And, what countries would you be selling to?
     
  3. michaelgh

    michaelgh
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    US. maybe Canada
     
  4. shane

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    My experience is in manufacturing active drug ingredients on an industrial scale, so I'm not sure how much of my knowledge translates to your question. I would think that, since the envelope doesn't touch the actual tea (since it stays inside the original bag/pouch), you could probably argue that there is low risk of contamination as long as you know nothing can leach out of the paper or ink. This is most easily accomplished by using food grade paper and inks, but you might could get a letter from your paper and ink supplier(s) stating contaminant levels and any food grade certifications. There is a good chance that someone will inevitably throw the envelope in the hot cup of water along with the teabag, so I would recommend positioning it so that you are assured that this person won't be poisoned by your paper/ink (or, if they are, that they clearly did not follow the directions for use on the outside of the envelope).

    Since you are taking a factory, presumably non-contaminated product and changing only the outer (non-food contact) wrapper, you will need to rationalize and justify that none of your "production" activities or the packaging itself place the product at risk for contamination. FDA regulates and audits against "Current Good Manufacturing Practices" (cGMP), and some the cGMP guidance can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/CGMP/ucm110877.htm I realize that most small specialty food and drink manufacturers don't get into that level of detail, but hopefully it will be of some assistance in thinking through how you want to lay things out.

    I'm also not sure if food manufacturers are required to register their site and their products with the FDA - I know that drug manufacturers must register but food may be regulated differently. There are probably boutique food/drink forums where people in the industry hang out and can provide more targeted advice.

    Best of luck to you in your endeavor.
     
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  5. AnushaJain

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    You must have to add some unique description on the wrapper which is yet natural but different from others..Apart from that you have to specify that you are only the promoter of the product not the manufacturer so any danger caused by the product is not your fault but of the concerned firm...
     
  6. michaelgh

    michaelgh
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    This is cool... but what I was trying to find out is if I can use a regular office paper for the envelopes to wrap tea bags?
     
  7. Fergal

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    michaelgh I'm not familiar with the regulations in the USA and Canada. However, as most food related industries are quite tightly regulated I'd suggest doing some research to find out which regulatory bodies are responsible for your area. Then contact those bodies and ask them for information on their regulations and how they apply to you. If they can't help you, ask them who can and then contact the organisation they refer you to.

    You could start with The FDA, if they can't help you directly, they should be able to tell you who can.

    An advantage of working in a highly regulated industry is that following those regulations can provide helpful guidelines for your business. In a way, the regulations can be almost like a manual for how you conduct an aspect of your business.

    Another option would be to contact companies who specialize in food packaging. Ask them for quotes to supply you with packaging and ask how they would ensure that their packaging complies with the laws relevant to your industry / product.

    Good luck with it and please update us on your progress.
     
  8. TimeRider

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    I believe there is a department to check standard of foods in every country. I think you need a solid paper to wrap things which won't cause damage to the tea. I think it's concerned with the food not the package or wrapper outside. The quality has to be in the tea than the cover / wrapper. The more good your wrapper is, it will help you maintain the quality of the tea.
     
  9. dianafox789

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    You should use a good quality paper which should satisfy the required standards, further more the design or graphics on the wrapper should be attractive so that that people could get attracted towards your product.
     
  10. AnushaJain

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    You have to use good quality polythene bags means strong enough so that it may not be damaged by weight .And then you may imprint your description on it as I told before..
     
  11. michaelgh

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    I don't need polythene bags

    I need PAPER envelopes to wrap up tea bags/pouches that I already have. So what I am trying to find out is what paper can I use for these envelopes.

    to give you an idea, it will look like this
    http://www.minimus.biz/Lipton-Tea-F20-1608201-0000.aspx

    but I will have my own design, my own logo etc
     

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