I am new to CC and I am wondering if there are any fellow Texans out there that could help me with a health inspection question. Everything that I have read seems to tell me that you can't get a permit for your home kitchen. However I called the local HD and he said all I had to do was come there and pay the food permit fee, and he would come do an inspection. I made it clear that this is my home kitchen, and he said it didn't matter. Given everything that I had previously learned, he kinda confused me. SO, I was wondering if there are any licensed home based bakers in Texas.
That's the problem with Texas, each county and city has a different rule. Some places you CAN have a kitchen on site...it just has to be separated from the rest of the house. The rules on "separation" may vary.
Definitely don't trust what the person says though. Look up the health department rules for your city and county and see what they say. Go by that. If there isn't an HD for the city or county, you have to go by the state rules. State rules trump City rules, which trumps county.
See that is the part that is so confusing...I talked to the county health inspector. He basically said go pay for your permit and I'll give you an inspection. I am going to their office tomorrow to see what the deal is. If I can do that it would be great, but I don't think that is how it works.
Ok, so he'll inspect your facility and then fail you b/c you don't meet the requirements, and you're out money.
Do the research for your city and county food establishment rules and see what it says IN WRITING. Most government info is online now, so it you can pull it up before you even go meet with them.
I will have see what info I can find on my county. I would be so mad if he said it was okay and then failed my inspection. Thanks for all your help.
You say you are in NE TX...what county? I use to be in Grayson Co. at one point, and in Grayson you are governed by the State HD laws. So must have a seperate building, but can be on your own residental property, as long as your property isn't subject to deed restrictions that prohibit you having a business from your home.
What part of NE Tx? I live in Garland, it's been a family dream to open a bakery, not a storefront, in my parents living room. Turn it into a full on commercial kitchen. My dad called the city, zoning and health dept. and they said that as long as it has it's own entrance and can be closed off from the rest of the house by doors or whatnot, and the traffic from the business didn't affect the neighborhood, it could be done. This was a few years ago that he called but recently I've been really thinking about doing it. I'm gonna go and find out some more info.
I am in New Boston, which is in Bowie county. I called that HD person again, and he is supposedly the county inspector and he is now saying that he doesn't know, to call some other person. So, I called them and they gave me the state number, they didn't know anything either. So, they give me another local number to call that would be specific to my county. I called them and they told me I wasn't in their area. Sometimes I wonder about the competency of some state employees. I really feel like throwing my hands in the air and saying FORGET IT!! Sorry about the rant, and thanks for listening.
It is against state law to have a food establishment in a residence:
That's why you have to go by what is in writing. There's a reason why I said that over and over. To most people a job is just that, a job. They are not looking out for your best interests and will just tell you whatever to get off of the phone.
I am building an incubator kitchen in my area and I have been combing CL to find obvious home food producers. Well I emailed a new caker (by her own admission) who sounded like she would be close enough benefit from my kitchen letting her know that what she is doing is illegal and that I have a solution to help her run a legitimate cake biz. She emailed me back saying that when she went to get her business license she told them she was doing this in her home and they told her no problem. Well I am sure what she went to get was her DBA from her local county clerk's office, and what do they know if you can or can't do a biz from home. So I sent her the link to the actual written law that states no cooking/baking from home kitchen to general public. I haven't heard back from her, but I gave her the link to here as well.
Ever since the baker's bill the HD is on higher alert than usual and is scoping out sites like CL just to catch illegal food vendors. I would hate for her to get into trouble when there are viable, affordable options now available in the area to be legal.
If I still lived in San Marcos...I'd totally have been one of your clients! There really is a need for that type of business.