Help - I'm In Pa And My Home Kitchen Inspection Is Fri Jun 5

Business By BAKE-ME-A-CAKE Updated 9 Aug 2009 , 5:31pm by Lita829

BAKE-ME-A-CAKE Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 6:19pm
post #1 of 24

Hi guys
Yes, I'm lucky enough to live in a state that allows a home bakery (no separate kitchen needed).
My home inspection is this Friday and I was wondering if anyone that has had a home inspection can tell me exactly what the inspector looked at. I answered all of the inspectors questions on the phone and I was careful just to answer his questions and not to offer any add'l information (I don't know why really). I was afraid to ask him exactly what he would be looking at. In hindsight, I should have asked him, but I was excited and little nervous. I know I can't have any pets and I don't. I know I can't sell anything that involves refrigeration like pudding or custard or cheesecake and I already knew that.
Of course I will have the kitchen very clean and all of my business supplies in separate cabinets as required, but...
Can anyone help with details? THANK YOU IN ADVANCE. I jumping up and down with excitement.

23 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 1:32pm
post #2 of 24

Actually, you live in a town that allows it. I live in Allentown, and He__ would freeze over before they let you work out of a home kitchen here.

Good Luck!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Nchanted1 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 2:06pm
post #3 of 24

It's been awhile, but here's what I remember. No pets that shed, separate storage for business food, including a fridge/freezer (dorm size is ok), thermometers in oven, fridge, and freezer, city water or a well tested yearly, letter from zoning board that this is an allowed use. Have your hair covered in a net or scarf. have a bottle of bleach solution for sanitizing counters, and either a dishwasher capable of sanitizing or some way of sanitizing hand washed items.

Good luck!

BAKE-ME-A-CAKE Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 3:30pm
post #4 of 24

playingwithsugar: I didn't realize that. I live in Lower Macungie Twp and I'm your neighbor. I'm sorry to hear that Allentown won't hear of it. The twp gave me the permit, and now I'm ready for the Dept. of Agric inspection.

Nchanted1: thanks. I knew the rest, except about my hair and I don't have a separate fridge, I better get moving. Are you in PA?

playingwithsugar Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 3:31pm
post #5 of 24

I know, but when I went looking for houses, I couldn't get the funding for the house I wanted out there, otherwise we'd be competitors, too!

I'm so jealous! But I wish you all the best, and if you get too busy, call on me to give you a hand!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

vrmcc1 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 3:47pm
post #6 of 24

I think it depends on your inspector but i didn't need a separate frige just a shelf in my fridge designated to only bakery things. Also paper towels at your hand washing sink (mine is the bathroom adjacent to my kitchen)

Honestly the only thing my inspector looked at was the fridge and freezer he tested the temp to make sure it was ok.

CCCTina Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 4:17pm
post #7 of 24

I am about an hour from you in Upper Providence Twp. I was actually in Macungie on Sunday for my niece's bday party. Anyway, I was inspected in the fall and it was so easy. The inspector looked at nothing. He just sat at my table and asked me questions, but never opened a cabinet, fridge, or anything. Good luck on Friday.

cheatize Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 4:39am
post #8 of 24

I read the ServSafe (or is it SafeServ?) textbook and it said to not put meats on upper shelves. If you're going to clear off a shelf in the fridge, try to make it the top shelf- just in case that applies here.

JudyDP Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 4:49am
post #9 of 24

I can't help you.....I'm in Texas, but I do want to wish you good luck! thumbs_up.gif

Kitagrl Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 4:52am
post #10 of 24

My inspector also just tested fridge and freezer temp. I scrubbed my kitchen and he didn't even look at anything else. LOL. He said if I ever had the opportunity to have a hand washing sink to do so, but was not required. I also have an outdoor-only dog which was also fine. It was really easy and he was the nicest guy, chatted the whole time he was typing out my paperwork.

Twp fire inspector had to make sure I had a fire extinguisher. Twp bldg inspector just had to come by and make sure my business was what I said it was. And Twp zoning just wanted their zoning fee!

Good luck! I'm in Lower Bucks county, Middletown Twp.

madgeowens Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 5:02am
post #11 of 24

So let me see if I understand this correctly. Its ok if you have dogs and cats and you eat in your kitchen, you just can't sell hair balls I mean cake to anyone lol........ok then that leaves me out....good luck hope you are a great success....

BAKE-ME-A-CAKE Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 11:14am
post #12 of 24

I have great news! I passed my inspection yesterday and now I'm officially in business. My business name is Bake-Me-A-Cake. My website (still under construction, but partially running) is

Thank you, thank you to all of you.

The inspector was a really nice guy. We chatting for an hour about everything from restaurants and bakeries to his grandkids and his pool. We had a great time and he didn't look at a single thing in my spotless kitchen. Oh all that scrubbing! LOL.

Thanks again!

kpry Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 4:53pm
post #13 of 24

Congratulations on your inspection.

Did you have to get a second fridge? Were you required to take a food safety class? I was going to take on this summer.

Good luck with your business!

BAKE-ME-A-CAKE Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 5:32pm
post #14 of 24

Thank you.
No, I didn't need a separate fridge (I called and asked the inspector before he came), I didn't need a separate hand-washing station (although I did put paper towels in the powder room next to the kitchen just in case). I designated the top shelf in my fridge for the business, I separated business supplies and ingredients in their own cabinets. He didn't check, but basically that is the only requirement (i.e separate shelf in fridge and cabinets). I did not have to take a food safety class because I specified that I was not going to make anything that required refrigeration after preparation. No custards, puddings, cheesecake type things. I'm not certain if I could do it if I took the class(es) or if I can't do it at all as a home baker, even if I took the class. I just decided to stay away from "potentially hazardous" stuff.
Also, I did put my hair back in a thick headband, but didn't use a full scarf or hair net. I was not preparing anything when he came (in fact, I wasn't licensed to anyway).
Good luck

CCCTina Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 5:40pm
post #15 of 24

Congrats. It sounds like we had the same inspector! Just an hour of chit-chat. It was somewhat of a let down for me that my kitchen was so spotless and nothing was even opened or examined.
Happy's wishing you lots of customers.

Lita829 Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 5:40pm
post #16 of 24

CONGRATS on passing your inspection and GOOD LUCK with your business icon_smile.gif

susanscakecreations Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 5:55pm
post #17 of 24

Congratulations on passing your inspection! And I hope you get lots and lots of business! I am in NC, and am hoping to get my inspection sometime this month..........I just need to designate separate cabinet space and clean really well before I call for an inspection!!!!! (I think I'm still scared to call!!!!!)

Best wishes!

sweetiesbykim Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 5:57pm
post #18 of 24

I'm in PA, too! Does anyone know if these rules are the same if I am in city limits? Do licensing rules depend on the township, county, city, or state wide?

I have a separate fridge in our downstairs, and I work at our "bar", the previous owners had from the 60's with small 2 compartment sink and lots of cupboards. My non-shedding dog is upstairs because she hates the sound of my kitchen-aid! All my food and pans are down here on metal SS shelving from Sam's. I'm not doing a whole lot, but would still like to have the license to expand my marketing.

CCCTina Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 6:12pm
post #19 of 24

The state has specific rules that you can find on the Dept of Ag website. There are links in an article on the main page here. But one of the state rules is no pets in the home. The first thing you need to do though is check with your local township, because if they don't allow home bakers, then it doesn't matter if the state does or not.

ladybug76 Posted 8 Jun 2009 , 6:12pm
post #20 of 24

This forum has me so PUMPED!!! I live in PA (outside of Harrisburg, Cumberland County) and received zoning approval. Now, I have to get in touch with Health Inspector for township (which is difficult since I work during the day and he is only in on Weds and Fri from 8-9am!!) and then onto The Department of Ag, which I have already spoken to. Congrats on your passed inspection, as well to everyone who contributed advise on home inspections!!! I wish you all the luck!
~ Jaime

treatdiva Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 3:30pm
post #21 of 24

Hello everyone. I joined this website when I saw this forum. I found it looking for cake decorating classes in my area. I am in Warminster, PA. I recently started a home based dessert business. I do not believe that I can get my home kitchen licensed. I have two steady customers and my business is beginning to grow. I don't know why I am posting this....I guess I am a bit lost and looking for a bit of advice.....

ladybug76 Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 8:13pm
post #22 of 24

If you have a business out of your home-kitchen in PA, it needs to be zoned and licesed through the Department of Ag or individual township, city, etc. If your hometown has their own health inspector, as mine does, you would go through them for health inspector rather Department of Ag. I would start with contacting the Dept of Ag or visiting their website. Depending on your home's location, availability of zoning (mine is no-impact zoning so no customers to our home and I have to deliver all my cakes), their would be a few regulations to follow.

Check with your township and Department of Ag and see where you stand.... let us know if you have any questions once you have all the details! Good Luck!!
~ Jaime

jhutch04 Posted 9 Aug 2009 , 4:43pm
post #23 of 24

I live in York, PA, and according to their rules and regulations I cannot have a pet at all. Which sucks because I have 3 dogs, which I do not plan on getting rid of for the sake of being legal. So I guess I'm going to look into renting a kitchen on the weekends or something. Any other suggestions???? icon_cry.gif

Lita829 Posted 9 Aug 2009 , 5:31pm
post #24 of 24
Originally Posted by jhutch04

I live in York, PA, and according to their rules and regulations I cannot have a pet at all. Which sucks because I have 3 dogs, which I do not plan on getting rid of for the sake of being legal. So I guess I'm going to look into renting a kitchen on the weekends or something. Any other suggestions???? icon_cry.gif

I am facing the same problem. I only have one dog, a tea-cup Yorkie who only weighs 3 pounds, but I know that to be legal you can't have ANY pets and I definately don't plan to get rid of him. Most of the baking I do is for charity, anyway. I just seal him off in his little corner and do my baking. I also scrub down the kitchen before I do any baking. My dream is to have a stand-alone kitchen to do my baking or even open a Bed & Breakfast. dream.....

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