rissadragons Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 1:26am
post #1 of

I just got my packet today to fill out for a kitchen inspection for cake baking. Questions for anyone that has done this.

1. What am I labeling if I am baking cakes?

2. Are the recipes supposed to be of all cakes that will be being made? Does that include fillings?

3. Do I just draw a diagram of the processing area or is it supposed to be something professionally done?

Just want to make sure this is all crystal clear to me!!

53 replies
MJoycake Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 1:43am
post #2 of

Hi - I'm also working on the paperwork for a license in VA...

I'd love to have concrete answers to these questions as well, but here's my take from what I know....

1. What am I labeling if I am baking cakes?
I believe that they want you to label all products sold (you'd stick the sticker on the cake box).

2. Are the recipes supposed to be of all cakes that will be being made? Does that include fillings?
Yes, they want each recipe you plan to make and if you start a new recipe they require you to mail the recipe to them *before you ever sell any* on an 8.5 x 11 paper in duplicate to be approved. This includes cake/fillings/icings.

3. Do I just draw a diagram of the processing area or is it supposed to be something professionally done?
I believe you can draw this, as long as it's legible and as close to "scale" as possible.

Best of luck...this is so much work, but will be worth it.

costumeczar Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 2:23am
post #3 of

As far as the labelling goes, I did the wedding cake for the woman in the Dept. of Agriculture who's in charge of this, so I got an answer straight from the source. She said that for cakes where you meet with the client, have a chance to answer questions about the ingredients at the point of sale, then deliver it yourself so that you can answer questions, you don't need a label. There's an exemption for that IF you're the one to bake, deliver and are there to answer questions. For things that are packaged and will be sold if you're not there, you label every ingredient just like they do on the labels of any other type of food.

The health inspector said that the exemption made sense to him, even though he'd never heard of it (I said "so-and-so told me", and he works with her, so her knew her and said it was okay with him, too). He did suggest that I take a list of allergens that were involved with the baking of any cake and leave it at the delivery location, so I now add that list to the information sheet I take with me to weddings. It basically says "the cakes may contain wheat, dairy, eggs, and were processed in a kitchen that also processed nuts this week." If I have a nut cake I specifically add that it has nuts in it (you'd be surprised at how many people ask if there are nuts in a nut cake! icon_confused.gif )

MJoycake Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 2:36am
post #4 of

Thanks costumeczar - i knew i had heard of that exemption, but couldn't remember if it was in VA or not.

costumeczar Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 2:46am
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJoycake

Thanks costumeczar - i knew i had heard of that exemption, but couldn't remember if it was in VA or not.




Just be careful because the inspectors don't seem to know about it. I questioned it because it makes no sense to put a label on a wedding cake. If they refuse to tell you that there's an exemption, just do a label and stick it on an information sheet like I use. If you save them on computer you can just print them out and slap it on when you need it.

You're going to find that there are a lot of answers to these questions, but which one you get tends to depend on who answers the phone at the Dept of Agr. when you call! icon_lol.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 5:53am
post #6 of

Oh my gosh! Is that not the truth! I had one person say an inspector said 2 tubs are good enough in place of a double sink and then another say no way! it can get confusing.

TheGoods Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 7:11pm
post #7 of

Ooh, I'm glad you brought up sinks. I have a deep single sink and was going to try putting 2 containers in it but am worried it may not pass inspection. My other idea was to put a 3 compartment sink in my basement. Does anyone know if there's a rule against sanitizing dishes in a separate part of the house from the kitchen? Or if I install a commercial sink in my basement to use will I be ok?

costumeczar Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 7:24pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoods

Ooh, I'm glad you brought up sinks. I have a deep single sink and was going to try putting 2 containers in it but am worried it may not pass inspection. My other idea was to put a 3 compartment sink in my basement. Does anyone know if there's a rule against sanitizing dishes in a separate part of the house from the kitchen? Or if I install a commercial sink in my basement to use will I be ok?




Wow, that's a good question, but I think you should ask the health inspector this one. That sounds compliacted enough that I wouldn't trust an answer off the internet! icon_surprised.gif

TheGoods Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 11:09pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Wow, that's a good question, but I think you should ask the health inspector this one. That sounds compliacted enough that I wouldn't trust an answer off the internet! icon_surprised.gif




Good advice. Thanks! I called and the office in Richmond said that it would be fine to put a double or triple sink in my basement to use. But he also said that before I go through that trouble if I have a dishwasher that has a "sanitizing cycle" a single sink is ok.

rissadragons Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 2:27am

Thanks for all your great responses and help!

cakesbykeka Posted 6 May 2011 , 1:21pm

can someone in VA help me please?

what is the 1st step I need to take to get licensed?
It is really hard to find information online from Department of Agriculture, State...

who should I 1st contact?
how do I get the kitchen inspected? is there a list of things I need to get done?
how to get the license?

sorry so many questions... once before I had a lot of links to these places but I just can't find them anymore!

thank you very much!

Rachel

costumeczar Posted 6 May 2011 , 11:52pm

Call the Dept of Agriculture and ask for information on starting a home-based baking business. They had a packet of information that they sent to me when I moved here.

Becky1679 Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 5:35pm

Did anyone hear about changes in home based baking in Virginia? Someone just told me if you have pets, you will now have to have a kitchen with a door and the pet is never allowed in, even when not baking orders?

costumeczar Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 10:33pm

You're not supposed to have pets in the kitchen area anyway, as far as I knew. Actually, now that you say that, I think that one inspector told me that you could, but I'd always heard that you couldn't. It's not really a good idea to have them walking around in food prep areas anyway.

Becky1679 Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:38am

Yes, I'm aware of that. I do not have my pet present when I am working or around any of my food prep. He is gated in another area or out of the house when working. I had heard today that all new inspections with petw in the home required a kitchen with a door. However, I do not have the ability to have a kitchen with a door, so I was just curious.

costumeczar Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky1679

Yes, I'm aware of that. I do not have my pet present when I am working or around any of my food prep. He is gated in another area or out of the house when working. I had heard today that all new inspections with petw in the home required a kitchen with a door. However, I do not have the ability to have a kitchen with a door, so I was just curious.




Who told you this? I haven't heard anything from an inspector or another offical, and the Dept of Agriculture usually will let you know about changes before your inspections.

costumeczar Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 1:07am

Another thought...Since they okayed the non-inspection thing here, I doubt that they'd make inspections more stringent. The inspector who comes to my house always stays around and tells me horror stories about other places he's been, and they're not happy about the non-inspection law being passed. I can't see them making it more difficult to get inspected...

dchockeyguy Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 4:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Another thought...Since they okayed the non-inspection thing here, I doubt that they'd make inspections more stringent. The inspector who comes to my house always stays around and tells me horror stories about other places he's been, and they're not happy about the non-inspection law being passed. I can't see them making it more difficult to get inspected...



I just received the latest "packet" from the Department last week to read through. I will see if I can find anything about this in there as I'm reading.

costumeczar Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 10:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchockeyguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Another thought...Since they okayed the non-inspection thing here, I doubt that they'd make inspections more stringent. The inspector who comes to my house always stays around and tells me horror stories about other places he's been, and they're not happy about the non-inspection law being passed. I can't see them making it more difficult to get inspected...


I just received the latest "packet" from the Department last week to read through. I will see if I can find anything about this in there as I'm reading.




I didn't get anything from them...If you do find anything notable could you let me know so that I can call and ask them to send me the info?

dchockeyguy Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 9:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchockeyguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Another thought...Since they okayed the non-inspection thing here, I doubt that they'd make inspections more stringent. The inspector who comes to my house always stays around and tells me horror stories about other places he's been, and they're not happy about the non-inspection law being passed. I can't see them making it more difficult to get inspected...


I just received the latest "packet" from the Department last week to read through. I will see if I can find anything about this in there as I'm reading.



I didn't get anything from them...If you do find anything notable could you let me know so that I can call and ask them to send me the info?




nothing too exciting in here, honestly. They do NOT exclude you from having pets, but DO ask if you have any or not. They also don't say anything about the non-inspection. You still have to pay the $100 (I think) for the person to come and do the inspection.

costumeczar Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 9:32pm

Well, at least they haven't raised that fee again! Thanks, Governor McDumbald, for being so "pro-business" that you have to raise all the fees and cut the dealer's discounts to pay for your rest stops, or your plane trips to beauty pageants, or whatever it is you're doing.

terrig007 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:21pm

Well as one who travels through the Commonwealth frequently, I am glad ALL the Rest Stops are open. When you have a disabled child and have to stop frequently, it makes it convenient to have to not pull too far off the highway. I don't know anything that isn't going up though. I'm just grateful we can sell cakes from our homes without having to build another kitchen on to the house.
Feel free to flame away. icon_smile.gif

CharliesMom09 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:31pm

Curious... what is this "non-inspection" thing a couple of you alluded to?

costumeczar Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 1:32am
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharliesMom09

Curious... what is this "non-inspection" thing a couple of you alluded to?




VA passed a version of a cottage law a year or so ago. You can sell non-perishable items that you bake at home without an inspection (I'd assume that you still need a business license, but that apparently varies by county) but you need to mark everything as being made in a non-inspected facility.

As far as the rest stops go, who cares, I'd prefer that they put state funding into the school systems but I guess education isn't the priority even though they give it a lot of lip service everywhere.

dchockeyguy Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 1:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Well, at least they haven't raised that fee again! Thanks, Governor McDumbald, for being so "pro-business" that you have to raise all the fees and cut the dealer's discounts to pay for your rest stops, or your plane trips to beauty pageants, or whatever it is you're doing.




I was surprised the fee was still so reasonable, but I'm not complaining!

JustBakedCakes Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 5:44pm

Kinda sucks for me. I live in Norfolk and "no food processing" from a residence is allowed. Someone called the city on me so I've been given a "Cease and Desist" order icon_sad.gif Trying to figure out where to go from here. Cottage food law or not, I still can't do it!

jason_kraft Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 5:50pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustBakedCakes

Kinda sucks for me. I live in Norfolk and "no food processing" from a residence is allowed. Someone called the city on me so I've been given a "Cease and Desist" order icon_sad.gif Trying to figure out where to go from here. Cottage food law or not, I still can't do it!



If you go to a city council meeting and explain your situation they may be willing to either make an exception or rewrite city ordinances, especially if you can demonstrate that the impact to surrounding residences will be limited, and you can cite other towns in the area that do not have the same restrictions.

JustBakedCakes Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 7:14pm

Thanks Jason, but I don't think I have enough amo to do something like that. Or the guts!! I thought about writing to the Commissioner of the Revenue though. Not sure if that would get me anywhere.

juleskaye518 Posted 9 Jun 2011 , 2:53am

Guts smuts- get out there and stand up for yourself! I'll be arriving in VA at the end of June and I'll go with you! I have fought- and won- against city council crap in Alabama and state legislature yahoos in Hawaii, I'd love to come and help!!

JustBakedCakes Posted 9 Jun 2011 , 3:14pm

Thanks Juleskaye518, you are funny!! Norfolk is one of only a few cities here in Hampton Roads that doesn't allow it. I do want to stand up for myself but really have no idea what to say. Besides being a smart arce and telling them the ordinance is stupid. I could say how it would bring revenue to the city but thats about it. And I'd be really surprised if little ol' me would have a effect on them. I have no idea even were to start with doing something like that. Are you coming to the Hampton Roads area? I'd love all the help I can get!!!!!

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