Who regulates the food I sell?

Different agencies in South Carolina regulate food products depending on the type of food and/or how they are distributed to the end consumer. The following questions will help you decide on which agency will regulate your food product. Contact information is provided with each agency so you can obtain more specific information about their regulations.

Are you planning to prepare and serve your food product onsite to the public? 

Are you planning to sell your food product directly to the public (retail) only?

Are you planning to manufacture, package and sell your food product to stores, restaurants or direct-to-consumer markets like farmers markets or flea markets?


Are you planning to prepare and serve your food product onsite to the public? 

Contact the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Food Safety Division at 803-896-0640 or http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/envhealth/food/


Are you planning to sell your food product directly to the public (retail) only?

This requires a DHEC retail food establishment permit. Products for retail sale cannot be prepared in a home kitchen and rather require use of a kitchen that meets all regulatory requirements (including State inspections). You will also need to provide additional information on the preparation method and may need to meet the requirements of the SC Department of Agriculture or the SC Meat and Poultry Inspection Department. Contact SC DHEC Food Safety Division at 803-896-0640 or http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/envhealth/food/


Are you planning to manufacture, package and sell your food product to stores, restaurants or direct-to-consumer markets like farmers markets or flea markets?

Does it contain more than 3% raw or 2% cooked beef, pork, chicken or lamb (except rabbit, which is regulated by SCDA)?

Contact SC Meat and Poultry Inspection Department at 803-788-8732 or http://www.clemson.edu/public/lph/scmpid/

Is your product a non-cheese dairy, soft drink or water product?

Contact SC DHEC Food Protection Dairy Division at 803-896-0644 or http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/envhealth/food/htm/dairy.htm

Is your product a shellfish product only?

Contact SC DHEC Shellfish Division at 803-898-4267 or http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/shellfish.htm

Is your product an alcoholic product?

Contact the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Tax and Trade Bureau at 800-398-2282 or http://www.ttb.gov/

Is your product a cheese or any other type of food product not listed above?

Contact the SC Department of Agriculture – Food Safety and Compliance Program at 803-737-9700 or http://agriculture.sc.gov/foodsafetyandcompliance