Wear A Mask For Crying Out Loud!

Decorating By tsal Updated 27 Feb 2010 , 2:06pm by SallyBratt

tsal Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 1:43am
post #1 of 22

I picked up some fondant today at a local caker who also supplies fondant. She was working on a big, beautiful wedding cake - thing is, she was sick as a dog! Like REALLY sick. She looked feverish and glassy-eyed and was coughing. I just got over the flu so I'm all-too-familiar with that look and I told her that she should be in bed but she said that she's a one-woman show and that she had no one to help her. I suggested that she wear a mask because all I kept thinking of was that poor bride and groom and all their guests that would be eating cake that had been thoroughly coughed on. Along with their buttercream would be a nice helping of VIRUS.

Got me wondering what other one-woman/man show cakers do in case of illness. I really hope everyone wears a mask (and gloves) at least if you really can't take time off to be sick.

21 replies
JGMB Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 1:51am
post #2 of 22

Yuck, yuck and yuck!!!! I remember a whole thread on this last year -- it seemed that most people had a reciprocal agreement with another baker in town that, if one got too sick to work, the other would fill their orders.

Kitagrl Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 1:52am
post #3 of 22

Oh yuck!!!!

I definitely take precautions if I have a cold and I'm caking....

Renaejrk Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:06am
post #4 of 22


mamawrobin Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 4:48am
post #5 of 22

I always wear gloves when I'm decorating, baking etc. (I cannot stand anything sticky on my hands). If I were sick I would definetely wear a mask if I did the cake at all. I have heard of some decorators that have a back up plan in case of illness, someone they trust to take care of their customers needs when they are unable to.

ayerim979 Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 5:04am
post #6 of 22

wow !! thats gross

I think after taking all them food handling classes its a must to be extra careful. after learning about all the diseases. But regardless I think its common sence.

madgeowens Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 5:38am
post #7 of 22

It is gross, I try not to think of what people do to my food when I am out......or I would never eat out lol..........about every place you eat, if you look out back people from the kitchen are standing out side smoking....and letting the flies in to crawl all over your bacon and eggs........ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

mim1106 Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 1:30pm
post #8 of 22

Ew. That's just nasty.

costumeczar Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 5:12pm
post #9 of 22

I don't get sick until I go on vacation. If I ended up in traction somewhere I have cake friends who could help me out.

AngelaM Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 5:29pm
post #10 of 22


Call me a germophobe, but that's exactly why I don't like to eat out. Unless it's prepared by me, I have no idea what it's been through.

tsal Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:10pm
post #11 of 22

I tend to get paranoid about restaurant food as well. I guess that's why we don't eat out or order in too often!

2SchnauzerLady Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:18pm
post #12 of 22

It's not being paranoid, a germophobe or anything else, it's basic hygeine and using common sense! I won't eat somewhere where the bathroom is nasty. If the bathroom is nasty, and the employees use that bathroom, then I know there is no way they are washing their hands properly.

SandiOh Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:37pm
post #13 of 22

Yes, I think people should wear hair nets, masks if there actively coughing and never do anything if you have a fever. ugh.

Another thing that grosses me out..I watch some of these cake shows on tv, I see people pulling their hair back or scratching their nose or whatever then go right back to working on the fondant. I suppose I am a supreme germophobe....but that's basic hygeine 101...wash or sanitize hands afterwards.

mamawrobin Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:40pm
post #14 of 22
Originally Posted by TNTFundraiser

It's not being paranoid, a germophobe or anything else, it's basic hygeine and using common sense! I won't eat somewhere where the bathroom is nasty. If the bathroom is nasty, and the employees use that bathroom, then I know there is no way they are washing their hands properly.

I always laugh to myself each time I see the sign in these restrooms that say "employees must wash hands before returning to work" well...DUH...

Caths_Cakes Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:58pm
post #15 of 22

ive often wondered this my self! im not a germaphobe or anything, but i do sanatise my kitchen before making a cake, i only do for friends and family but i dont think i could forgive myself if i made some one ill or anything! Ive seen to many 'Caught on Camera' Tv shows to allow my self to eat out lmao, I wont go into detail, but several recipes included ciggerette ash, Dirty dish water, items taken from the bottom of a trash can, And spit . . .il stop now before i make myself ill lol.

tsal Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:29pm
post #16 of 22

I've noticed that too!! People touching their hair and noses (or hair in their noses - lol) totally grosses me out!!

kathik Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:58pm
post #17 of 22

How awful!! I was horribly sick last week so I didn't bake a thing even though I have a holiday to get ready for this weekend. It might make for a crazier week now, but I couldn't possibly bake something while sick and then serve it to my guests or give as gifts (part of the tradition)!

This would be when I would make a note not to order a cake from this store. I hope your fondant was well sealed!


tirby Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 4:06pm
post #18 of 22

I am a major hand washer, and very careful about these things.
AND with GOOD reason!!

My son contracted bacterial meningitus. This was before thre was Vaccination awareness on TV.. Back in June 1996.. THANK GOD he is 100% fine. many others not so lucky.. its heartbreaking...My point is that that being a life and death , get antibiotics NOW (literally) is contracted by things like sharing soda so a cough...SAME THING!! NOT COOL. we almost lost him several times...

We learned our lesson and DRILL our children to NOT SHARE foods and drinks PERIOD.(Not with anyone) some people have it and it affects them like the flu or a cold yet they manage to fight it off with out realizing how sick they are or could make others (so is it the flu???) The first ER Dr. sent us home thinking my son had the flu and poison ivy.. (SO DID I.) He was notorious for getting into poison ivy
..My son couldnt fight it off...But whoever he shared a soda with did...
Just be careful when your sick PLEASE!

This is just a tiny piece from the CDC...


Q: Is bacterial meningitis contagious?
A: Yes, some forms of bacterial meningitis are contagious. The bacteria can mainly be spread from person to person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions. This can occur through coughing, kissing, and sneezing. Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as things like the common cold or the flu. Also, the bacteria are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.

mkolmar Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 4:32pm
post #19 of 22

I'm coughing with a runny nose and ear infection right now. I'm actually dry heaving off and on because I'm coughing that bad. I called off work again because I work in a dietary department for those with compromised immune systems. It's not worth the risk. I won't get a paycheck this week but I'm ok with that, even if my wallet isn't.

I've had to work while somewhat sick before (not at this job). I wore gloves and a mask and only did the limited amount of work I had to do before I left in a hurry. The things anyone else could do I let them, I only did the work only I knew how to do. I'm surprised this lady didn't have someone to call on to help her in this situation.

I'm big on sanitation. I always wear a hairnet/ball cap. If one of my kids are sick and I'm not I still wear a mask and gloves just in case the virus is in my system and not showing up yet. I take a lint roller to my chefs jacket to make sure no loose hair is on it somewhere.
Food borne illness is a very serious issue that a lot of people take too lightly.

Oh and as a side note, I only will eat at places that I know how clean it is. Open kitchen restaurants are usually pretty decent because they know people can see what they are doing. I won't eat somewhere when I see them walking into the bathroom with their apron or chef jacket on. I take mine off and leave it hanging up in the kitchen before I use the restroom. If I eat anything while I have an apron on or take the trash out, that apron is now dirty and must be changed. Pretty simple, but yet so many forget to do it.

KHalstead Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 5:42pm
post #20 of 22

I tend to wear gloves regardless of how I"m feeling ( just because people ask too many questions about why my hands are purple /green/blue/etc. all the time lol)

HOWEVER, I generally will feel a cold or something coming on, and I will either try to reschedule the orders I have for that week or try to finish them up quickly (with a mask) and deliver them early!

JCE62108 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 7:15pm
post #21 of 22

I have the same issue. Its just me. If I get sick, Im screwed. This happened two weeks ago. I had 4 cakes to do in one weekend and my son had developed a cold a few days prior. I ended up getting a bit of congestion and a scratchy throat.

I went to the store, got hand sanitizer, disinfectant, disinfectant wipes, gloves, and masks.

I wasnt even really feeling that bad, but I tell ya...there is NO way I could stand the thought of infecting 400 people in one weekend.

You would have thought I was performing surgery on that cake. lol.

If I ever get really sick, or some emergency happens, I have been trying my very best to stay on the good side of all the other local custom cake bakeries. I actually have all their phone numbers on hand! This way if something happens to me, my customers WILL have a cake. And my hubby knows the drill too, so if I cant..he will be calling them for me.

I suggest trying to be friendly with another decorator, or bakery. This way you have some sort of backup.

I know it may be hard to do that with competition, because some people are downright brutal when it comes to dealing with your competition...but I like to have as many allies as I can. icon_smile.gif

SallyBratt Posted 27 Feb 2010 , 2:06pm
post #22 of 22

That's how Typhoid Mary passed on the disease...thru food. She worked as a cook in people's homes. She was a healthy carrier of typhoid feever but she passed the illness on to 53 people, killing 3 of them.

It's really quite gross that she would work on a cake when she's sick. The flu virus can live for 48 hours+ on surfaces.


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