top of page
  • Writer's pictureHula Consulting

What do all these letters mean? A Tea Providers' Guide to Regulatory Compliance & Certification

Regulatory compliance and certification is a sea of alphabet soup! All these acronyms can be a bit confusing and overwhelming at first. The process is straight forward, and a dedicated company can navigate through the various regulations and bring these processes in-house.

In the eyes of the law, tea companies that blend, flavor, or take large bags of tea to create smaller bags of tea are food manufacturers. Because of this, there are several necessary regulations to follow to ensure that your business is successful. It is highly recommended that you seek guidance from a company that specializes in #regulatorycompliance and #certification to ensure you have no issues during an audit.


There are many state, county, and city laws that can apply to manufacturing food for human consumption. These laws vary in scope and how they can be enforced. However, the primary law to ensure safe food which must be followed at all times is the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FD&C Act) and its' amendments, enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A safe food product does not contain any contaminants that could injure a consumer in any way when the food is consumed. Producing clean, #safefood is not just a moral obligation but a legal one, as well.

Producing clean, safe food is not just a moral obligation but a legal one, as well.


Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) add refinement to the FD&C Act, which states the legal criteria under which food can be processed (CFR Title 21, Parts 100-199, Sub Part 110 ). The key to these regulations is the prevention of anticipated food contamination.


Due to the severe increase of consumers getting sick (estimated 48 million) and deaths (estimated at 3,000) due to food-borne diseases, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on January 4, 2011, by former President Barack Obama. It enables the FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. It allows the FDA to focus on preventing food safety problems rather than relying primarily on reacting to problems after they've occurred.


Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) is the common name given to the sanitation procedures in food production plants, which are required by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA and regulated by 9 CFR part 416 in conjunction with 21 CFR part 178.1010. It is considered one of the prerequisite programs of HACCP and part of GMP.


HACCP is a written management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement, and handling, to manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of the finished product. In today's food manufacturing environment, having a HACCP plan has practically become mandatory.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Department of Labor, issue workplace health and safety regulations. OSHA was officially formed on April 28, 1971. Companies with one or more employees must follow OSHA regulations that pertain to their business. (General Business: Title 29 CFR 1910) OSHA's mission is to assure safe and healthful conditions for working people by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.

USDA Organic

Requirements vary from country to country and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storing, processing, packaging, and shipping. In the United States, the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) authorizes a National Organic Program (NOP) enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The organic certification process ensures that growers and manufacturers who claim organic, are abiding by strict laws and regulations outlined in the OFPA (CFR Title 7, Subtitle B, Chapter I, Subchapter M, Part 205). Though the USDA enforces the regulation, companies must be certified #organic through a third party company (like QCS, CCOF, QAI, OCIA, Oregon Tilth, etc.).

It can be a lot to digest, pun intended, but you don't have to worry! Hula Consulting can help prepare your tea business with all of your regulatory compliance and certification concerns. The team can also assist in sourcing your desired teas and flavoring ingredients! Contact us today at 561.600.7025 or We look forward to helping your #teabusiness!

51 views0 comments


bottom of page