Pets And Home Businesses....

Business By yankeegal Updated 4 Feb 2014 , 7:03pm by craftybanana

yankeegal Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 9:29pm
post #1 of 40

For those of you who are licensed in your state, this might seem like a silly question, but do any of you have pets? And is having one( my beautiful lab) an automatic no towards obtaining a home baking license? I live in Maine and have gone over the rules and regulations( the ones I can find anyways) and have not found anything regarding my dog. I will call my dept. of agriculture tomorrow, but I was curious. Thanks!

39 replies
JoAnnB Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 9:56pm
post #2 of 40

Check first, but in most states, you cannot have a pet in a 'home bakery'.

bunit Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 12:28am
post #3 of 40

Yankeegal, Where in Me are you?? I have had the same question for a while... If you go to Me. gov, and work throught the system, you might find the requirements... I found this very confusing! From what I can tell, the rules state that the baking area must be free of pets and young children. Does this mean that they only need not be present if you are working on a cake? or all the time?? Grey area if you ask me... You will also need a corrosion proof 2 bay sink, as well as washable surfaces, sealed countertop such as formica, and enclosed lighting fixtures. It also said that you must keep the outside of the premisis clear of clutter, and maintain a working washroom(yeh, like we have "washrooms" in Maine, their called bathrooms!!) icon_biggrin.gif ...duh!!SO happy to see a fellow Maniac on here, you're the first I've seen here for a long time. Happy baking and good luck!!---B.

dodibug Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 12:41am
post #4 of 40

You will probably find that you need a completely separate kitchen that can not be accessed from the main house. That solves the pet problem. This seems to be the requirement of most states that have been discussed here.

bunit Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 12:45am
post #5 of 40

update- You can print an application for the license at the Dept of Agriculture (Me,) and it is the "food and fuel licensing" form... good luck- B.

redsoxgirl Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 12:48am
post #6 of 40

I am in Massachusetts and luckily we Are allowed pets in the home. The rule is that they must be kept out of the kitchen area during baking and decorating. It does vary by state. Check your board of health's website. It should give you the guidelines.

karateka Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 12:59am
post #7 of 40

In Ohio we can be a cottage foods bakery, which allows pets, or a home bakery, which doesn't. So pets aren't always an automatic no. Good luck.

cupcake Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 6:10am
post #8 of 40

I think this subject is a common sense thing. Would you go to a restaurant and eat there food knowing they had a cat or dog in their kitchen while preparing your food. I don't think so. Especially cats!They love to get on counter tops. Makes my stomach turn to think of it. I love animals, but a kitchen that prepares food for the public has no business having an animal in the food prep areas. As for children, and I am a mother, how many of you let your kids, lick the beaters and spoons? How many of you let them stick their finger in the bowl and take a taste? Children are not real good about keeping their hands clean, especially when they have runny noses. Do you really want to spread germs? Do you really think your paying customer would want to come back, knowing that you had an animal or child in the kitchen licking the icing. Or worse yet cat or dog hair in the cake or icing. Yuck. Sorry gals, but this is a pet peeve of mine, don't mean to offend anyone that wants to bake with their kids and pets.

butterflyjuju Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 7:19am
post #9 of 40

Cupcake I agree. I just recently baked in my sister in laws home. Dog hair was everywhere . . . ugh! And to make it worse when she cooks she oversprays her Pam and it gets onto everything. So everything is greasy/sticky to start with then covered in dog hair. I refused to do anymore cooking while I was there. I do have a small chihuahua and two small children. But on baking for other people days, the chihuahua is caged, I put on fresh from laundry clothes and children are not allowed in my kitchen until the cake is boxed. But if it is for family only then my kids are allowed but still no dog. I do most of my decorating anymore while kids are napping or in bed.

yankeegal Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 10:47am
post #10 of 40

Thanks for all of the replies and information all!
Bunit: I am in Eliot( down in the most southern part-near York and Kittery-love it here!) I have downloaded most of the same info as you but the wording is confusing so I thought I might call and find out for sure. Will let you know what the scoop is. Thanks for the warm welcome!

Butterflyjuju-I am with you. My dog is kept completely out of the kitchen when I am baking.(as well as when I am preparing meals for my family) I have been baking for years and have never had anyone complain about dog hair in their products. Most of my customers know I have a dog too.

knoxcop1 Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 11:29am
post #11 of 40

Would you refuse to eat at a friend's house for dinner because they have pets? Would you refuse to eat at someone's house for dinner because they have small children in the house? What about infants? Elderly and/or incontinent? There are DIAPERS in those circumstances, let's do a hand inspection!

In my personal experience, of course I've been in homes/apartments/trailers where certainly I wouldn't want to indulge in the "chef's cuisine!" But in those circumstances, the smell of the place was usually enough to knock me out--and usually noticeable from the porch! icon_twisted.gif I've also been in restaurant bathrooms where an employee has barely washed after doing their business.

My point?

From my own interaction with other cake decorators, they have all been extremely clean and fastidious cooks. I believe this to be true of most of them everywhere.

I believe in bleaching out my kitchen before projects, myself. I'm usually too embarrassed to get a manicure because of the roughness of my hands from cleaning! I've never had anyone ask me if I had a pet in the house. I've also never had anyone ask me if I had children before or after baking them something, either. Unless it's to make conversation.

I'm not concerned with licensing and regulations, either. Nor do I personally give a $h!+ about getting licensed. I do what I do because I like it, and once in a while I make a few paltry dollars because I do.

But I challenge anyone at any time to walk into my kitchen or my house and inspect it. Then put it up against anyone's commercial kitchen. Guarantee you one thing: mine's cleaner. Period.


indydebi Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 1:12pm
post #12 of 40

I can't understand the difference between a pet that runs thru your kitchen and just keeping it out while you're baking. Pet hair floats in the air and just because they are not in the kitchen when the oven is on, doens't mean there isn't pet hair in there somewhere. Would you really eat at Olive Garden or Arby's or anyplace else that had animals running thru their kitchen "after hours"? To me, it doesn't make a difference.

I know people who are very very clean with their pets .... but I still wouldn't be real keen on the idea of pets running thru the kitchen where food is prepared, even if it was "after hours".

yankeegal Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 1:53pm
post #13 of 40

You make some good points. A while back I worked for a very upscale food company here in southern Maine that did allow their dogs in and around the store and processing area after hours. The store was immaculate but I still wonder what customers would think. I don't think that they would stop shopping there though even if they knew.

mkerton Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 2:07pm
post #14 of 40

I love my dog and am very lucky not to have a shedding breed....but no one has ever seemed afraid to eat at my home (we have lots of little parties) or seemed concerned about my baked goods either (though I dont sell anything)...I am like knoxcop, I like to bleach my white countertops and make sure everything gets wiped down really well and since my kitchenaid sits out, the bowl and beater get washed before every use (even if i just put it back 2 hours ago)....I just try to be as clean in the kitchen area as possible...

that said I think we are funny about being germs and such....I clean my kitchen before doing any 'projects' really well, but how many of us drink out of pop cans? Even though we have heard countless times how dirty and germy they really are....its like my drinking cups must be perfectly clean but I will drink out of a can that who knows what or who has touched! We lick envelopes that who knows what is in or on....etc etc... and we all wash our hands after going to the bathroom, but how many of us remember to do that after handling cash (talk about dirty)!

I think we all just do the best we can.

travelingcakeplate Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 2:22pm
post #15 of 40

In NC, pets in a home bakery are considered to be pests/rodents.

I personally do not like to eat in people's homes when they have pets or at potlucks when I know they have pets and the food was prepared in their kitchen. This includes my family members, and friends ie...grandmother, brother, aunts, uncles, and in-laws.

Plus, in most cases, I am allergic to pet dander.

MaisieBake Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 6:10pm
post #16 of 40

Whether I'd eat at a friend's house has nothing to do with whether I'd pay for food prepared in their kitchen. Different standards apply.

beachcakes Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 6:31pm
post #17 of 40

I'd be surprised if you could have a legal kitchen with pets, but as i understand, the regulations vary widely from state to state and county to county.

That said, I probably wouldn't buy a cake from a home decorator whose kitchen I wasn't familiar with. But I'm like that. I'm one of those finicky people that won't eat at potlucks, or certain coworkers' food, or eat at certain peoples' homes becuase of their pets. Let me add that I have a cat, so I'm not anti-pet, but he pretty much stays outside b/c he cannot be trusted inside alone. My biggest pet peeve (no pun intended) is when animals are allowed to eat off plates, but that's another story. I also am kind of weird staying at hotels - just the thought of the carpets and blankets creeps me out - but that's a different issue entirely.

I would love to have a little business someday, but I respect that regulations exist for a reason, and if i don't qualify from home, then I'd have to find an alternative. i don't expect to be allowed to use my family's kitchen in my state; i'd be willing to put a commercial kitchen in. What irks me is how are hot dog wagons and the like legal? They don't have runnning water or electricity!

Sorry for the vent...

mkerton Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 6:47pm
post #18 of 40

This is one of those topics where you can really say "to each their own" everybody has their own comfort level and everyone obviously has to make decisions accordingly. I don't sell anything and I guess its a good thing, cause I dont plan on giving up my doggie!

ttb Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 6:51pm
post #19 of 40

Ever wonder what your eating when you go out to eat? You may be surprised.

CakesUnleashed Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 6:59pm
post #20 of 40

In California, you CANNOT bake and sell ANYTHING from your home that is for HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Period!! Course, California is such a pain in the fanny when it comes to rules, so to speak. Did you know that dragees are illegal in California? That is the only state of which will not sell dragrees. How stupid is that? I just drive over to Reno, NV. LOL!!

I have to ask a customer if it's all right if I create figurines, flowers, etc., for their cakes. If they agree, then I will do it. If not, I must create EVERYHTHING, from start to finish, in a leased commercial kitchen. I also had to get certified from the Health Dept. in order to work in that kitchen. Shoot fire...I wanna to move to someplace like Montana!!!

RisqueBusiness Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 7:02pm
post #21 of 40

I have a commercial kitchen away from my house, and because I have cats, I even change my SHIRT at the shop!!

Coz I KNOW that cat hair gets EVERYWHERE!!!

Not only do I change my shirt, we put on aprons on baking and decorating days.

The day you see me in my shop with just my business t-shirt on, it's a day I've not spent baking!!!


( when I was a home baker, in PA, my kitchen was downstairs, and I had 2 doors separating it from the rest of the house. No kids and no pets allowed! and same concept, Smocks at the door! lol

MyraNC Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 7:29pm
post #22 of 40

Well.......I have a 170 lb great dane in my home. However, she is trained very well and knows her boundaries. She is not allowed in the kitchen and NEVER goes in the kitchen or anywhere near the kitchen. Everyone I bake for is mainly friends and family and they know that I have a dog in my home. I have NEVER had any complaints about pet hair in any of my cakes, or concerns about the cleanliness of my kitchen, home, etc. Playing the "devil's advocate", I would have to say that I have seen more filth in homes without pets than I have homes with pets. Wonder how many chefs/bakers or anyone else who handle food go to the restroom and not wash their hands before handling food...Just something to think about.

SweetThistleCakes Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 7:44pm
post #23 of 40

I have two Siberian Huskies- I love them to pieces, but I know how they shed. If "I" found out that "I" made cakes in a kitchen that dogs or any other pet traveled through, I wouldnt order anything every again regardless of how clean the kitchen was. It's just unsanitary and a poor business practice. I dont care what any state says, they dont belong where food is prepared.

RisqueBusiness Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 7:44pm
post #24 of 40
Originally Posted by MyraNC

Wonder how many chefs/bakers or anyone else who handle food go to the restroom and not wash their hands before handling food...Just something to think about.

So true!!!

SweetThistleCakes Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 8:16pm
post #25 of 40
Originally Posted by RisqueBusiness

Originally Posted by MyraNC

Wonder how many chefs/bakers or anyone else who handle food go to the restroom and not wash their hands before handling food...Just something to think about.

So true!!!

OMG, now I'm gagging. tapedshut.gif I know, it's true and regardless of the signs all over the restrooms that say employees are required to watch their hands before returning to work.

yankeegal Posted 14 Sep 2006 , 9:00pm
post #26 of 40

Hi all-just thought I would follow up. Received the following email this afternoon from the Dept. of Agriculture in Maine.
"Animals are allowed in the home but have to be removed from the kitchen area before any processing can be done. Of course the food prep area would need to be cleaned and sanitized before processing. Please call or email if you have any other questions."
Pretty much what those of us with pets have done anyways.

bunit Posted 16 Sep 2006 , 1:50am
post #27 of 40

Yankeegal, Thanx so much for posting your response from the Dept of Agriculture! I have called many times myself, and have gotten nowhere. I live in Midcoast, Me, just north of Wiscasset. I have a Siberian and he never comes in the same area of the house as I bake, but I wasn't sure about their presence being allowed at all! I hope you were able to download the application for licensure... I'm sending mine in tomorrow- Happy baking, and keep in touch! _B.

redsoxgirl Posted 16 Sep 2006 , 2:03am
post #28 of 40

It sounds like Maine's laws are similar to Massachucetts. Pets are allowed in the home but must be removed from the prep area and the area must be sanitized.

You are basically held to the same standards as a commercial kitchen.

They also recommend taking a Serve Safe course which teaches and certifies you in the proper way to sanitize the kitchen.

yankeegal Posted 16 Sep 2006 , 10:10pm
post #29 of 40

Good luck with obtaining your license. I was able to download the forms but we are in the process of having some work done on our kitchen-getting a two-bay sink and replacing the countertops, etc.. so for now I am just trying to obtain as much info as possible. I appreciate all of your help-and everyone else's too -keep us posted as you go thru the process-and I will do the same.

lsawyer Posted 16 Sep 2006 , 10:29pm
post #30 of 40

I'm an animal lover, but I don't think I could ever order from a pet home. I know where dogs/cats lick themselves, then they lick their fur, then the fur sheds/floats all over the place and lands everywhere. Sanitizing counters does nothing about floating fur hairs. I'm sorry, but this really turns my tummy. To add insult to inury, if the baker doesn't wash his/her hands, then you have a double-whammy. Eewww!

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