Virginia Home Bakers

Business By giraffe11 Updated 10 Jun 2009 , 6:21pm by crazyteach

giraffe11 Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:41am
post #1 of 34

Did you all know that Governor Kaine signed a bill last year that exempted home bakers in Virginia from inspections, as long as they are not selling temperature-sensitive products? This was news to me.....you can sell to individuals or at farmer's markets.
Not sure how that would translate to websites (cause you're technically selling to an individual and you are technically selling from your home, but you may have to ship items?) and I don't know what you would do about liability insurance, cause I think you have to have a business license for liability insurance, don't you? And doesn't seem like you could get a business license under these conditions. In any event, this was news to me and I thought it might be useful for some on here, since I have often seen people who were unsure of Virginia's rules.
I have included the bill below..........



CHAPTER 459
An Act to amend and reenact § 3.1-398.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to food inspection.
[S 272]
Approved March 7, 2008


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 3.1-398.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 3.1-398.1. Inspections required to operate food establishment.

No person shall operate a food manufacturing plant, food storage warehouse, or retail food store until it has been inspected by the Commissioner. This section shall not apply to food:

1. Food manufacturing plants operating under a grant of inspection from the Bureau of Meat and Poultry Inspection or a permit from the Bureau of Dairy Services of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Grade A fluid milk manufacturing plants and shellfish and crustacea processing plants operating under a permit from the Virginia Department of Health. This section shall also not apply to: (i) any nonprofit;

2. Nonprofit organizations holding one-day food sales, or (ii) any retail;

3. Private homes where the resident processes and prepares candies, jams, and jellies not considered to be low-acid or acidified low-acid food products and baked goods that do not require time or temperature control after preparation if such products are: (i) sold to an individual for his own consumption and not for resale; (ii) sold at the private home or at farmers markets; and (iii) labeled "NOT FOR RESALEPROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION." Nothing in this subdivision shall create or diminish the authority of the Commissioner under § 3.1-399; and
4. Retail establishments that (a) (i) do not prepare or serve food; (b) (ii) sell only food or beverages that are sealed in packaging by the manufacturer and have been officially inspected in the manufacturing process; (c) (iii) do not sell infant formulas; (d) (iv) do not sell salvaged foods; and (e) (v) certify to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that they meet the foregoing provisions of this section. Retail establishments that meet the provisions of clause (ii) this subdivision shall be exempt from inspection and the inspection fees; however, nothing in this section shall prevent the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services from inspecting any retail establishment if a consumer complaint is received.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

33 replies
costumeczar Posted 18 May 2009 , 12:15pm
post #2 of 34

This went through because of some farmers who want to be able to process meat and dairy without state inspections, and once it wound its way through the legislature that was the final result.

You can still get inspected, which isn't a big deal, really. The drawback to me about NOT having an inspection is that you do have to clearly mark on each product that it was produced in a facility that wasn't inspected. To me that's not such a good selling point. You still have to have a business license and collect and pay sales and income tax, so it's not such a big change paperwork-wise.

As a consumer, If I had a choice to buy from a non-inspected or an inspected facaility, I'd choose inspected every time. I know that realistically not every inspected place is spotless, but at least it shows that they're made an effort and that they understand what's required.

The inspector told me that one woman had to have three samples taken from her home before there was no dog hair found in it icon_confused.gif , so that's why I'd prefer to have an inspector looking at someone.

giraffe11 Posted 18 May 2009 , 12:24pm
post #3 of 34

Oh, I don't disagree with you about inspected vs uninspected preferences. But there has been plenty of discussion on these boards about people getting very different answers when they called state offices about requirements, so I thought this was useful.
I am not selling anything anyway, but if I wanted to be inspected, I could not pass due to the fact that I have exposed brick in my kitchen. I live in a historic district where most all of the homes have exposed brick in their kitchen.......so someone living here might try to go the uninspected route.
I know a lot of people only sell birthday cakes to their friends and acquaintances for pocket change, so I guess this bill allows them to do it without breaking the law.

jamiekwebb Posted 18 May 2009 , 12:34pm
post #4 of 34

thank you so much for the information

rhondab Posted 18 May 2009 , 12:55pm
post #5 of 34

Thanks for this -- We're involved in a community festival coming up at the end of the month. There's been a lot of worry about the local churches selling foods, and calls to local officials haven't helped us figure out what's what. Hey, I may even try selling some cookies now.

costumeczar Posted 18 May 2009 , 12:57pm
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by giraffe11


I know a lot of people only sell birthday cakes to their friends and acquaintances for pocket change, so I guess this bill allows them to do it without breaking the law.




Check your county's rules abotu this, in mine you have to have a license to sell anything, even for pocket change, but someone else said that in their county as long as you're under a certain income threshold you're okay.

I agree about the different answers you get when you call the health department. Home bakers seem to fall in a no-man's-land category, they don't know how to handle us sometimes!

hollyh Posted 18 May 2009 , 1:15pm
post #7 of 34

Wow! Thanks for the information. I also live in a historic home and therefore would not pass inspection even though my house is spotless. I started making cakes about 6 months ago and have had several requests from family and friends for wedding/bridal shower cakes. Now I don't feel like I am breaking the law when they pay me for the supplies.

I will make sure to clearly mark my boxes! Thanks for the info!

Confectioners_Conundrum Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:11am
post #8 of 34

THIS is the most awesome news of my day. I was recently told that I HAD to stop baking from home until I was inspected. I do wedding cakes, b-day cakes, ect. I got an email from the VA health inspector that said I had to be inspected before I could go any further. So, I am going to show this to him and ask him what the deal is. I think this qualifies for me to bake from home without being inspected WHILE I am in the process of being inspected. I have been turning down order after order...but with this, maybe I can still bake while I'm wating!

costumeczar Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:20am
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil_baby_Kakes

THIS is the most awesome news of my day. I was recently told that I HAD to stop baking from home until I was inspected. I do wedding cakes, b-day cakes, ect. I got an email from the VA health inspector that said I had to be inspected before I could go any further. So, I am going to show this to him and ask him what the deal is. I think this qualifies for me to bake from home without being inspected WHILE I am in the process of being inspected. I have been turning down order after order...but with this, maybe I can still bake while I'm wating!




My inspector knew about this, so they should be aware of it. As long as everything you're making doesn't need refrigeration it should fall under the language in the law.

giraffe11 Posted 19 May 2009 , 2:47am
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil_baby_Kakes

THIS is the most awesome news of my day. I was recently told that I HAD to stop baking from home until I was inspected. I do wedding cakes, b-day cakes, ect. I got an email from the VA health inspector that said I had to be inspected before I could go any further. So, I am going to show this to him and ask him what the deal is. I think this qualifies for me to bake from home without being inspected WHILE I am in the process of being inspected. I have been turning down order after order...but with this, maybe I can still bake while I'm wating!





Let us know what he says when you ask him about it.

Confectioners_Conundrum Posted 19 May 2009 , 11:09pm
post #11 of 34

This is what the health inspector said in his reply to my email about this:

"Yes, it (the exemption) applies if you sell out your door and front
porch, OR, at the farmers market, AND you put the statement on the
outside of each wrapper or box. No wholesaling to other businesses for
resale.

I used the word internet because you asked about web sales. If the
customer comes to you to pick it up, it applies. If you ship it, it
does NOT apply, and inspection is required."

"As far as insurance and licences, I cannot advise. Your insurance, or
incorporation may prevent you from losing your home, if someone accuses
you of making them sick. This bill is still quite new and not many have
wanted to do it, since it tells the customer that they are somehow
"cutting corners," and most people want to know you are "for real," and
not doing things skimpy, and they like knowing you are inspected. Many
want to see your inspection documents, rather than take your word for
it. For instance, my family would not go to a restaurant that was not
inspected (if that were allowed).

As far as can you get started now, I am waiting for answers on that
from my boss.

Inspector Ferguson"

SO, I guess I'm good to sell from home!! It sucks that I had to turn a lot of orders away because of this, JUST to continue doing what I was already doing!

costumeczar Posted 19 May 2009 , 11:56pm
post #12 of 34

Thanks! It's always good to see something in writing.

giraffe11 Posted 20 May 2009 , 12:08am
post #13 of 34

Hmmm.......seems kind of like a surly reply, doesn't it? icon_confused.gif
It's kind of interesting. Points the inspector, and others, have made about inspections and such are valid. Yet, I know someone who works with me at the hospital who has been selling her cakes for nearly 20 years with no inspection, no business license, no insurance. As a matter of fact, she brought 2 into work this morning for people to pick up and told me she did 17 cakes this past weekend! And this is someone with a full-time job at the hospital, just doing cakes on the side. Kind of crazy.
But I've talked to her about it before and she said not one person in 20 years has ever asked her if she was inspected, insured, registered, licensed or legal in any fashion....... Obviously there are many people who do this, right or wrong, so I think the general public is not so worried about inspections as the inspector thinks.
Honestly, if people knew what goes on in restaurant kitchens they would never eat out anywhere anyway, inspection or no inspection. I have worked in a few, so I am well aware of that icon_rolleyes.gif
In any event, I'm glad you are able to continue with your cakes until your inspection happens.

Confectioners_Conundrum Posted 20 May 2009 , 2:17am
post #14 of 34

I think he was peeved that I found this out to be honest! No one has ever asked me if I was inspected before...and probably never would have! But, I did tell him that I would still be interested in being inspected...just cause it's a great selling point to be able to make. But it does help in the mean time that I don't have to tell people no...I can still bake as long as I tell them and have a sticker that says I have not been inspected.

BakinMeCrazy Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 12:46pm
post #15 of 34

How does this affect advertising? Could you advertise (even on a website) as long as it (website, postings, brochures, ect) states somewhere that it is "NOT FOR RESALEPROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION?"

giraffe11 Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 1:23pm
post #16 of 34

As far as the health dept is concerned, yes I think you can advertise on a website, as long as you are labelled as uninspected AND also you sell the products directly from your home and/or a farmer's market booth. You can not ship the items anywhere.
You probably would still need a business license though. And if you don't have liability insurance.....well, you are taking your chances.

this-mama-rocks Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 1:32pm
post #17 of 34

Hey giraffe and baby_Kakes, try not to take the "surliness" personally. I worked for the gov't for almost a decade. The surly attitude just comes with the territory. Along with the 100 different answers to every question.

I am working on submitting my packet for my inspection; I hope to mail it off this week. So far, the hardest part was cutting thru the red tape to get the right person on the phone. Good luck to you all!

giraffe11 Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 1:44pm
post #18 of 34

Hmmm....well I have had a state gov't job for the past 14 years and am still employed there. Still I do know that the state hires a good many hapless people and keeps them around forever and also creates a lot of red tape issues simply b/c they are too lazy and/or non-creative to streamline things. And.......we haven't had a raise in a couple of years, b/c they keep balancing the state budget by removing our raises at the last minute.....But....there is really no excuse for intentional rudeness, surliness, or whatever.....no matter what your job is or who you work for. I understand that even unpleasant people need jobs. However, unpleasant people really belong in jobs where they don't deal with the public. And they would probably be happier there as well.
I am glad you got through your paperwork though. Sounds like you are on your way. I don't have to deal with it at all, b/c I am not selling anything. So.....it's good for me too. thumbs_up.gif

crazyteach Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 2:03pm
post #19 of 34

I am so glad I saw this thread! I live in VA and was trying to find out what I needed to do to sell cakes from my home-- I am a teacher and want to be able to do it as a summer job and extra money! Now I know-- and I am greatful for you making this post giraffe! Where are you from? I am from the fredericksburg area!

giraffe11 Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 7:14pm
post #20 of 34

Richmond area.....not too terribly far from you, I would guess.
What do you teach? I have been toying with the idea of "career-switchers" and becoming a high school science teacher, but I have not gotten really serious with it yet...

hollyh Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 7:19pm
post #21 of 34

My mom is a teacher in the Fredericksburg area and did career switchers. It was a lot of work but she loves teaching!

giraffe11 Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 7:20pm
post #22 of 34

What was she doing before? I should apologize for hi-jacking the thread......but hey, it's my thread! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

jamiekwebb Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 7:25pm
post #23 of 34

Yeah!!!! I am so happy about this... make my life much easier.

hollyh Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 7:27pm
post #24 of 34

She was actually a substitute teacher/long term sub for about 6 years. Prior to that she was primarily a stay at home mom. If you are really interested I could give you her e-mail sometime. She can tell you all about the program and time commitments.

crazyteach Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 4:37pm
post #25 of 34

I teach special ed at the middle school level in Spotsylvania County! I love it! I have been teaching for 20 years!

zoraya Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 5:09pm
post #26 of 34

Hey crazyteach! I'm in Fredericksburg too! thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 5:47pm
post #27 of 34

Would any of you Fredericksburg-area bakers like to make a Hokie topper for next week? (that's the bad part, you'd have to do it quick) I make them out of gumpaste and I've attached a photo. There was a bride who contacted me about it in April but she never got my email saying that I couldn't do it, so now she's still looking for one. I charge around $80 for one, and you could pm me if you need info on how to make it. Pm me if you think you can do it and I'll send you her email address. She only needs the topper, not a cake.

Thanks!

(edited to attach the photo, duh...)
LL

hollyh Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 5:55pm
post #28 of 34

Crazyteach my mom taught 9th grade English this year at spotsylvania high school but is switching to a middle school as a gifted teacher for next year. She just moved from Winchester, VA so she is still trying to figure out which school she likes.

crazyteach Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 6:23pm
post #29 of 34

Holly, what is her name-- I have a nephew that is a 9th grader this year at spotsy high-- what middle school is she going to? do you know? I am Spotsy middle! I love it here- teachers are great to work with!

hollyh Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 6:24pm
post #30 of 34

costumeczar, I am booked but would love to know how to make the topper. My sister will graduate from tech next year and I would love to make her a hokie topper!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%