Do I need to put all the ingredients on the barbecue sauce that I want to sell online? 8 Answers as of November 21, 2013

I want to sell a homemade barbecue sauce online. I wanted to know if I have to list all of the ingredients as I wanted to keep some a secret as it is a secret sauce.

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Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
I believe that to meet FDA requirements all foods must be labeled with all ingredients in descending order of their amounts. However i am not knowledgable of these type of laws so please check with the FDA for the labeling requirements. It is outside of the scope of my legal expertise. I am a Patent and Trademark Attorney.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/20/2013
Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
You may consider patenting as well. PowerPatent has a patent software called ProvisionalBuilder(R) that automatically searches for similar ideas. As you enter the title and summary, the software runs an automatic search to suggest similar patents you should look at to see how similar patents are written. You should get patent application as soon as you can to prevent others from copying you. This is important as we move into the First to File era. Software costs $99 so it i very inexpensive yet guides you to prepare a high quality patent application that one year later you can turn to a lawyer to convert into a utility application for you. A feature summary is at http://www.powerpatent.com/prwelcome THe software helps you organize information, and through your summary description, brings back sample patents in the same field for you to use as examples.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/21/2013
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
You need to provide an accurate accounting of the ingredients. You can use chemical names for some of the ingredients that can mask what is actually being used here are two examples. Identify salt as Sodium Chloride. Identify water as Di-hydrogen Monoxide. If you perform some research you can accurately list the ingredients and make it more difficult for the average person to determine the secret sauce.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/20/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Federal and state laws require that most of the ingredients be listed on the container. However, tiny amounts of certain things like spices don't have to be listed. Check with the FDA, the USDA, and your state for specific requirements.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 11/20/2013
Brown & Michaels PC | Michael F. Brown
It's a question of the FDA labeling requirements. Look them up at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryIn formation/LabelingNutrition/ucm2006828.htm
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/20/2013
    Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
    I don't know for sure - but my best guess is yes - due to potential allergy situations. Having a secret ingredient is an excellent concept (trade secret) but may cause problems in food products. You might be able to list certain ingredients generically - spices, salt, etc. If the mixture is complex - it is unlikely that someone could duplicate it. Think COCA COLA - never copied exactly.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    Webb IP Law Group
    Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
    You need to follow the FDA guidelines and any others that apply. There is usually some room to list "spices" for things that do not have to be independently listed. Start researching here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064880.htm
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/20/2013
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