Regulation Of Home Based Decorating (Not Baking)

Business By kenyatta4 Updated 3 Jun 2008 , 12:56pm by playingwithsugar

kenyatta4 Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 5:29pm
post #1 of 9

Hi everyone! I haven't posted probably since early '07 - I once had an "almost thriving" (ha!) virtual bakery but had to shutter the whole operation last summer after I found out after months of suffering that I had wheat and dust allergies that made it impossible to work around flour or taste my treats. (Website is still up tho, lol).

Someone asked if I'd consider having someone else bake and hand off the cakes to me for decorating - possibly even at home. I know off the bat that the cakes themselves still need to be baked under proper regulations if I'm going to sell them, but this idea of just doing the decorating does raise an interesting option for me. One could argue that that's 75% of the project.

Does anyone know about decorating regulations? I once took a wedding cake decorating class where the chef told us that in PA, one could probably get away with decorating but not baking cakes at home. I was very skeptical, but it didn't apply to me at the time and I didn't press her about it.

The other option is to decorate in a licensed bakery - but I'm a little afraid of being around the airborne dust (flour). It's like...instant asthma attack.


8 replies
jewelykaye Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 5:39pm
post #2 of 9

I don't know how it is in PA. Here in Houston, Tx you must do everything from the commercial kitchen. Even your tools are not supposed to leave the comm. kitchen.

Sure I could probably "get away" with decorating at home but it's not legal.

I would call your health department and see what they have to say about it.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 5:45pm
post #3 of 9

Decorating the cake or baking the cake....still preparing food IMO. I can not imagine the HD would look at it any other way but I would still call your HD and see what they have to say about it!

Hippiemama Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 12:13am
post #4 of 9

Don't know for sure in your state, but in Missouri that wouldn't be allowed. Food has to be fully prepared and stored in a licensed kitchen until the customer takes possession of it.

vrmcc1 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 2:17am
post #5 of 9

in pa you can bake from home but the kitchen must be licensed by the department of ag. My opnion would be that both kitchens would need to be licensed, the baking kitchen and yours. But call the doa and ask the people there are really nice and helpful.


peg818 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 11:57am
post #6 of 9

well, you could always buy the uniced sheet cakes like the grocery store does, after all most of them aren't baking their cakes, just decorating.

I would check with the department of ag for your local regs. Don't know that i would want someone else to bake for me unless i knew them very well and knew i was going to get a consistently a good product.

playingwithsugar Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 12:18pm
post #7 of 9

Kenyatta -

First, no you can't just bake or decorate from home in PA by registering with the department of agriculture. Home bakers who register with the department of agriculture are living in an area where the municipality does not have health department jurisdiction over the home baker. Philadelphia has it's own health department, and therefore, you must follow the city's guidelines.

The regulations here in Allentown are the same for decorating as they are for baking - no way out of your home, because you are still providing a food product.

I am going to assume that the same applies to Philadelphia. But your best bet is going to be to call the Health Department directly, to see what they say about it.

I would be interested to know what their policy is regarding this. If you get information, please PM me with the results of your efforts.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 12:38pm
post #8 of 9

Actually, contacting the Department of Agriculture was the correct advice. You must find out if your township will allow you to do this before you even contact the Health Department. You must have a letter from your township stating this is legal before the Health Department will even set up the inspections...

Would option of getting your home kitchen licensed and having someone bake for you at your home help you at all? They could be responsible for baking & cleaning up the flour and dust and then you could take over...Good Luck with whatever you do!


playingwithsugar Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 12:56pm
post #9 of 9

But that's the point, if you look at Kenyatta's location, she says she is in the city of Philadelphia, not in a township. The dept of ag does not have jurisdiction there, because Philly has their own health department.

Yes, in townships where the nearest municipal health department does not have jurisdiction over health codes, the state dept of ag takes over.

There is a woman outside of Lehighton who just recently went through all this. Lehighton's health department would have had jurisdiction if she lived within their boundaries. Because she is outside of their radius, she had to apply to the dept of ag for her inspections, etc.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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