For many olive oil producers, the simplest approach to this area of regulation is to locate a local miller/bottler that is already certified to perform these tasks and contract out those services.
For growers who want to handle areas of food safety production themselves, there are two key areas of regulation:
FACILITY CERTIFICATION (ON-SITE SALES)
Facility certification is handled at the State or County level depending on whether your facility manufactures/packs and distributes in a wholesale capacity or directly to the consumer from the processing site.
If you expect to offer direct-to-consumer retail sales at the processing facility, you should contact your local County office of the Food & Drug Branch of the FDA for more information. The requirements are not unlike those of a restaurant providing food directly to consumers and fairly encumbered with strict food safety and handling regulations.
PROCESSED FOOD REGISTRATION (OFF-SITE SALES)
If you plan to distribute and sell your products off-site, you are required to obtain a Processed Food Registration (PFR) from your local State’s Food and Drug Branch.
In California, Senate Bill 634 recently repealed provisions of the California Health and Safety Code requiring the licensure of olive oil manufacturers, packers, or distributors by the Department of Public Health. Effective January 1, 2009, all existing olive oil licenses were invalidated and the Department ceased to issue new licenses.
If you are an olive oil manufacturer, packer, or distributor, you are required to obtain a Processed Food Registration (PFR) for future olive oil processing activities. To obtain a PFR application, go to the California Department of Public Health website or call (916) 650-6500.