I live in a state where you can only sell cakes from a commercial kitchen. After reading various posts here and seeing how angry people get about home bakers and the risks they put the customers in, I'm honestly curious - what automatically makes a commercial kitchen so safe? I hope this isn't coming across as snotty, I really am curious!
The way I look at it, isn't it just as likely that someone who rents a commercial space can leave the milk out too long? Drop something on the floor and still use it? Generally have bad practices? Why is a home kitchen so different?
I wish I lived 3 hours south, in a state that allows home bakeries as long as you get licensed. To me, if a customer is aware it is a home bakery, then it seems like they understand what they are getting.... and that if they are getting it from a business, there doesnt' seem to be any guarantee their food won't poison them! But maybe I have it all wrong. I'd love to own a business, not just decorating, but baking specialty goods, but that dream is forever away because we will be years away from that kind of extra income, plus I can only do this stuff at night because I have small children.
I would totally be ok with a law that required any home bakers to be licensed, report taxes, AND label all food and advertising as something like "Baked in an unregulated home kitchen." I think people could choose, then, if they wanted to purchase from someone baking out of their house, and choose that "risk" if they wanted it.... I mean, people can choose to smoke (obviously a health risk), but they can't choose to pay for a cake from a house? I honestly don't understand the law in my state. I want to feel better about it and stop being so frustrated with it, so that's why I am asking if anyone knows the reason behind the law.
While having a commercial kitchen does not always assure healthy and safe practices, there is at least the knowledge that health inspectors could pop in at any time to check things out. Think about the reports on restaurants and fast food places.
There are a lot of things that go on in a home kitchen that could still happen, but you also have less of a risk for other things, like pets and kids allowed in the kitchen.
I've read the steps people go through cleaning their home kitchen before doing a cake, so there is no doubt in my mind that there are many home kitchens that are more clean than fast food or restaurants places. But there are also a lot of home cooks that may not be aware of safe food handling practices or homes that have pets (I have a cat and dog myself, so I'm not against pet owners).
Nothing can explain why in one state it is safe to have home baking legal and in the next safe it's not.
For those of us trying to fight it in our states to make it become legal, we are getting road blocks because "it's a public health issue".
If it truly was a public health issue then it would not be legal in any state.
How are you fighting it? Is it like a group trying to change the law? I wonder if there is such a group in my state.
I'm sure i'll just have to get over it and somehow come up with a plan to get to the point of being able to open business some years from now, but I just wish this was more reasonable.
I may post elsewhere and ask if anyone has tips for starting out without owning a commercial kitchen - places to use one for free or cheap or something. But I doubt I'll get that lucky.
Well one girl talked to her state representative and finally got him to introduce a bill. Here's the thread that has been following the whole process:
It's been a very aggravating process but hopefully it will be worth it in the end.