Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner

Color or Waxing of Raw Agricultural Commodities

Post Harvest Treatment with Coloring Agents or Wax of Raw Agricultural Commodities

The shipping container and consumer size package of such commodities must bear labeling which declares the presence of any coloring agent or wax applied after harvest. This statement must appear prominently and conspicuously in lettering at least one-sixteenth of an inch in height.

When such products are displayed to the purchaser at retail, the labeling from the shipping container must be plainly in view or a counter card or sign declaring the presence of the coloring agent or wax must be posted prominently and conspicuously. Any labeling at a retail display (Shipping container or sign) must have lettering at least one-fourth inch in height.

In the case of post harvest wax treatment the statement must read in one of the following forms as appropriate:

  1. "Coated with food grade animal - based wax to maintain freshness" or

  2. "Coated with food grade vegetable-, petroleum-, beeswax-, and/or shellac based wax or resin to maintain freshness"

The term "food-grade" and "to maintain freshness" are optional. The term "lac-resin" may be substituted for the term "shellac." The terms "Mineral" or "Mineral Based", wax or resin may not be used.

The terms "may contain"; "may be coated"; or "may have been coated", are not to be used.

Any cards or signs must identify which produce commodity or commodities have been coated with wax or resin. For signs covering multiple commodities the number of signs required will be dictated by the size of the produce section.

Where violations of the foregoing are noted during the course of routine inspections, an Advertising/Labeling Report, FSI-500, should be completed describing the violation and citing any supporting evidence. Where necessary, samples should be submitted to the laboratory for detection of the undeclared presence of color or wax.