Swine Flu, Customer Still Wants Cake?!?!?

Business By momma28 Updated 31 Oct 2009 , 4:25am by madgeowens

momma28 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:02am
post #1 of 39

The winner of a free cake gift certificate I gave out at a recent bridal show is supposed to be getting a cake from me tomorrow, delivered to her bachlorette party. It is a simple undecorated 8 inch round. She is very excited to get it (which I take as a compliment).

My kids have swine flu. I have a state approved and liscensed home based bakery. I call this woman to tell her that her cake will be baked in the same home where my kids have swine flu. I told her that I always bake in a sanitary environment but that swine flu is airborne and I cannot guarantee that it wont have any exposure. Her wedding is next weekend so of course I am concerned that she could get swine flu for her wedding, but then again you are exposed everytime you go to a walmart with how widespread it is here. She said she still wants the cake. Said that a man at her job had it and she didnt get it after being exposed to him. I said are you sure, she said yes, go ahead and make it (I was going to bake it this evening since it is undecorated and doesnt need to be delivered until tomorrow afternoon)

What happens if this entire bridal party (im sure they will be at the bachlorette party) gets swine flu and her wedding next week is ruined? Am I leaving myself open to liability? Do I have her sign something? She was rather insistant that she wants this cake. For me (If I were the bride) its a big risk for an 8 inch undecorated cake. Is the customer always right? I dont want to tick her off but I dont want her to get sick either. FYI I am not sick just my kids.

38 replies
awestervelt Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:15am
post #2 of 39

I would have her sign something that stated the risk were discussed with her. That way if for some reason she did get sick( which probably wouldn't be from your cake) she would have nothing to stand on if she tried anything.

Kitagrl Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:16am
post #3 of 39

Wear a mask...don't let the kids in the kitchen...and make the cake. In my mind it is impossible that the whole bridal party get the flu from one 8" round cake made in a clean environment.

Although the only downfall is that now that she knows your kids are sick, any illness will be traced back to you! Whereas otherwise you would have been in the clear...stuff is going around anyway, there's a good chance they'd get sick even without your cake...but now I will say they may think it IS your cake if they do get sick.

However I personally don't think they'd get sick from your cake.

If it were me, next time, I'd either make the cake without saying anything about the kids being sick (I've done that before) or just say "I can't make the cake."

Good luck!

tarheelgirl Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:18am
post #4 of 39

My son just got over the swine flu and luckily I did not have any cake orders that week. I was prepared to start calling customers though if I had to. If she is insisting I would probably make her sign something. If it were me I would sanitize the kitchen completely and bake/decorate while the kids were in bed. Good luck with this!

Deb_ Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:20am
post #5 of 39

Yeah, I wouldn't have given her the choice.....I'd simply call the client and say "sorry, my kitchen is closed this week while my family recovers from the flu".

Then you're covered.

I personally wouldn't bake until the kiddos are well, but that's just me.

I hope your kids feel better real soon.

momma28 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:21am
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Wear a mask...don't let the kids in the kitchen...and make the cake. In my mind it is impossible that the whole bridal party get the flu from one 8" round cake made in a clean environment.

Although the only downfall is that now that she knows your kids are sick, any illness will be traced back to you! Whereas otherwise you would have been in the clear...stuff is going around anyway, there's a good chance they'd get sick even without your cake...but now I will say they may think it IS your cake if they do get sick.

However I personally don't think they'd get sick from your cake.

If it were me, next time, I'd either make the cake without saying anything about the kids being sick (I've done that before) or just say "I can't make the cake."

Good luck!




I went back and forth about telling her but I just didnt feel right. I really figured she would say that she didnt want it. I am really feeling uncomfortable about making the cake now.

bbmom Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:25am
post #7 of 39

Off topic, how do you know its swine flu? None of the doctors where I am are testing for h1n1 or seasonal flu. Its very widespread here and they arent even seeing the kids, just saying keep the kids home.

my_4_dumplins Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:27am
post #8 of 39

Call your local healt dept. tomorrow morning. Explain you situation to them and see what they say. If they suggest you don't do it, call the bride tell her that the healt dept. says you can't do it. If the health dept. says everything should be okay, bake the cake but, like a previous poster said, have her sign something saying she knew the risks involved, that way if any of her guests become ill, it is on her and not you.

Kitagrl Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:29am
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Wear a mask...don't let the kids in the kitchen...and make the cake. In my mind it is impossible that the whole bridal party get the flu from one 8" round cake made in a clean environment.

Although the only downfall is that now that she knows your kids are sick, any illness will be traced back to you! Whereas otherwise you would have been in the clear...stuff is going around anyway, there's a good chance they'd get sick even without your cake...but now I will say they may think it IS your cake if they do get sick.

However I personally don't think they'd get sick from your cake.

If it were me, next time, I'd either make the cake without saying anything about the kids being sick (I've done that before) or just say "I can't make the cake."

Good luck!



I went back and forth about telling her but I just didnt feel right. I really figured she would say that she didnt want it. I am really feeling uncomfortable about making the cake now.




That's why I'd either tell her and cancel the order, or not tell her and make the order....because now you're kinda stuck...you said you'd make the cake, but if she DOES get sick (no matter HOW she gets sick) she will regret her decision and get mad at you.

justcake Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:29am
post #10 of 39

You have to go with your gut. If you are uncomfortable making the cake, then don't. Then if they do get sick they have no way to blame your 8 in cake. Things happen and she surely can not fault you for trying to error on the side of caution. I would simply say, as another caker did, my kitchen is closed unitl my family is well again.

my_4_dumplins Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:32am
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbmom

Off topic, how do you know its swine flu? None of the doctors where I am are testing for h1n1 or seasonal flu. Its very widespread here and they arent even seeing the kids, just saying keep the kids home.


I live in southeast Ky and they are still testing here (not that it matters, the test are so inaccurate!) and they are saying keep your kids home EXCEPT to take them to the doctor. All four of my kids became sick at the same time, friday night. I took them to the dr. on Monday and they swabbed them for the test, two of them tested pos., two tested neg. so they gave all of them Tamiflu. They are all over it and doing well thumbs_up.gif

momma28 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:35am
post #12 of 39

I called her back and said that I would prefer to ere on the side of caution and not prepare a cake when there is flu in my home. She was very understanding (much to my relief) and said that she would email me with the holidays coming up to let me know when she would like her free cake.

I really feel a lot better about not doing the cake. I had no other paid cakes this week (which is unusual so I am guessing God knew something I didnt LOL) and I am grateful for that.

bbmom: they are testing in my area. I did not take my kids in but the doc said there is NO reg flu in our area at this time. There are a couple of telltale symptoms to swine flu, the main one being a headache that lasts 2 + days that will not respond to any medication which those in my home had, and vomiting and or bad bowels which is not generally seen in regular flu (more common in the younger children). Also for all the hype swine flu doesnt last as long as reg seasonal flu. 2- 3 days (of course the cough can linger) unless complications set in.
My oldest is already over it but I have other children in various stages. Seems to be a 3 day event in our family.

momma28 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:39am
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by my_4_dumplins

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbmom

Off topic, how do you know its swine flu? None of the doctors where I am are testing for h1n1 or seasonal flu. Its very widespread here and they arent even seeing the kids, just saying keep the kids home.

I live in southeast Ky and they are still testing here (not that it matters, the test are so inaccurate!) and they are saying keep your kids home EXCEPT to take them to the doctor. All four of my kids became sick at the same time, friday night. I took them to the dr. on Monday and they swabbed them for the test, two of them tested pos., two tested neg. so they gave all of them Tamiflu. They are all over it and doing well thumbs_up.gif




They are not giving tamiflu here unless you have asthma or are immune compromised. I was guessing it was so there is not a shortage for the most at risk of complications

Barb1959 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:43am
post #14 of 39

Told my husband and daughter (daughter going to school next year for baking and pastry at Johnson and Wales) suggeste you a friend's kitchen.

Barb1959 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:46am
post #15 of 39

Husband and daughter just made a very good point. You can have her sign off for herself, but she cannot speak for her guests They could have recourse against you if they got sick and found out that you knew there was a chance they could get sick.

momma28 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 12:48am
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb1959

Told my husband and daughter (daughter going to school next year for baking and pastry at Johnson and Wales) suggeste you a friend's kitchen.




I can't bake in a kitchen that has not been inspected and approved by the VA Dept of Agriculture the way that my kitchen has. If it were a wedding cake I would call a local church to see about using their kitchen and find an alternate no matter what but for an 8 inch undecorated cake which the customer was ok with waiting for, doesnt seem worth it

OfficerMorgan Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 1:22am
post #17 of 39

I didn't read all the posts, but here are my two cents.

I would not do it. Even if she says it's OK, someone else could get sick an sue you. You've already admitted to the flu being in your home, so if someone does get sick they will come right to you and expect compensation. And what if someone died from complications of swine flu that could be tracked back to your kitchen?
Also, you could lose your business license if you allow contaminate food out. It would be a HUGE mistake to do this period, but even more so because you have informed her of the sickness and in a way admitting fault to any illnesses caused by it.

bbmom Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 1:25am
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma28

Quote:
Originally Posted by my_4_dumplins

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbmom

Off topic, how do you know its swine flu? None of the doctors where I am are testing for h1n1 or seasonal flu. Its very widespread here and they arent even seeing the kids, just saying keep the kids home.

I live in southeast Ky and they are still testing here (not that it matters, the test are so inaccurate!) and they are saying keep your kids home EXCEPT to take them to the doctor. All four of my kids became sick at the same time, friday night. I took them to the dr. on Monday and they swabbed them for the test, two of them tested pos., two tested neg. so they gave all of them Tamiflu. They are all over it and doing well thumbs_up.gif



They are not giving tamiflu here unless you have asthma or are immune compromised. I was guessing it was so there is not a shortage for the most at risk of complications



My daughter had a fever for 7 whole days. I called the dr. twice and was told unless it gets to 104 or difficulty breathing they are saving the tamiflu for the people in the hospitals so we basically had to just tough it out, and after the fever broke she has been so fatigued all week, just now starting to get back to normal, in fact tonight is the first time she hasnt fallen asleep before dinner( almost a week later!) Also no seasonal flu vaccine avail here unless you're high risk and h1n1 not avail at all yet. There has been well over 100students(out of 450)out sickeach day for the past 2 weeks I want to just lysol everything in sight and just stay home until its all over!

madgeowens Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 1:53am
post #19 of 39

I think the flu is being spread airborne....the h1n1 at any rate......so I would not think there is danger for them ingesting it.....however.........coming into your place where there may be airborne pathogens, then she is at risk. Thats my food for thought..........however you can check on the www.cdc.gov website for more info on this matter.hth

Newbieone Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 1:54am
post #20 of 39

I wish everyone were as conscientious as you. Not just for cake baking, but for all food service employees! So many go to work and cook our food with all sorts of illnesses, spreading it around. Ugh. You are to be commended, even though I doubt there was any risk in your instance.

CakesByJen2 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 1:54am
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by my_4_dumplins

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbmom

Off topic, how do you know its swine flu? None of the doctors where I am are testing for h1n1 or seasonal flu. Its very widespread here and they arent even seeing the kids, just saying keep the kids home.

I live in southeast Ky and they are still testing here (not that it matters, the test are so inaccurate!) and they are saying keep your kids home EXCEPT to take them to the doctor. All four of my kids became sick at the same time, friday night. I took them to the dr. on Monday and they swabbed them for the test, two of them tested pos., two tested neg. so they gave all of them Tamiflu. They are all over it and doing well thumbs_up.gif




If you got results immediately, then you just got a general flu test. The H1N1 test cannot be done in a Dr's office, but has to be sent to the state lab in Frankfort and takes a week or two to get the results. They quit testing for H1N1 at least a couple of months ago, except for cases that require hospitalization, and are just giving the general flu test that will tell you type A or type B, but not specifically H1N1.

They have been *assuming* positive flu tests were H1N1 back in the summer because it was too early for regular flu, but now we are in the beginning of normal flu season, so it could be either one. Unfortunately, a lot of dr's & nurses aren't really explaining this to the patients.

madgeowens Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:14am
post #22 of 39

They tested me a few weeks ago, and it took a few days for results only. I heard they stopped testing due to cost....don't know how true that is...

www.cdc.gov

to research whatever questions you may have pertaining to health and flu etc

madgeowens Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:18am
post #23 of 39
Kay_NL Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:19am
post #24 of 39

I definitely would not make the cake. Even if you are not sick, it is reasonable to assume that you could be carrying the virus and it is in your entire home. If I were the customer I would have said NO I don't want the cake though!!

I have had to cancel an order before due to stomach flu in my house, I was the only one not affected (2 kids and a husband for 4 days, ugh) but certainly did not feel comfortable putting a cake out of my house with all those stomach bugs!

madgeowens Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:56am
post #25 of 39

h1n1 is spread by airborne particles, such as a cough or a sneeze.........

momma28 Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 3:45am
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbieone

I wish everyone were as conscientious as you. Not just for cake baking, but for all food service employees! So many go to work and cook our food with all sorts of illnesses, spreading it around. Ugh. You are to be commended, even though I doubt there was any risk in your instance.




I was reading an article that said that 68% of food workers do not get paid for sick days and therefore go to work cooking and serving food even when they have the flu. Makes me cringe.

Liability aside, I just couldnt do it. I didnt feel right. I will most likely do a more elaborate cake than she won as a thank you for her understanding.

rosiecast Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 4:19am
post #27 of 39

Momma28- I think you did the right thing. Hope your kiddos feel better soon,

madgeowens Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 4:36am
post #28 of 39

It is better to be safe than sorry. Knowledge is power so read and get informed to better protect your family. Just like mom use to say....cover your mouth and wash those hands!

kricket Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 4:55am
post #29 of 39

Off the original topic, but replying to the "flu thread"......... My eight year old and I have been suffering this week. Took her in to urgent care yesterday because her fever was over 104. Interesting things the doctor said:
1.) that ANY flu symptoms are H1N1, not seasonal flu. They haven't seen seasonal flu yet; it's too early.
2.) Test results wouldn't be back for seven days, by which time she would be all better.
3.) The CDC recommends Tamiflu for only high risk patients (asthma, pregnancy, HIV, etc) meaning the ones who should be hospitalized. Tamiflu cuts down on the duration of the symptoms, but not by much (six days instead of seven days). Too much Tamiflu will lower resistances, just like we have now with antibiotics.

So now we are staying away from the other family members, washing like crazy, getting a lot of rest, drinking fluids, and biding our time......

madgeowens Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 5:26am
post #30 of 39

one other thing about Tamiflu.....if they don't see you within the first 48 hours of symptoms or less, then its no good. I mean when they told me that I thought......give me a break......I had to be sick over a month before they gave me any antibiotics, and by then I had pneumonia for two weeks.............I can hardly wait to see what these ying yangs do to the healthcare.....................stay healthy

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