SandraDoll Posted 10 Jan 2011 , 12:03pm
post #1 of

Adult dogs who have never touched a cake before can mess up your cakes, too!

I am posting this not as the cake-maker but, as the bride icon_wink.gif (though it was a long time ago now, I am just new to the forum!)

My best friend is a cake artist and made many cakes over the years. She had never had a problem making the cakes the day before and leaving them on her dining room table. Her dog was well trained, knew better than to go anywhere near the table top and had never gotten into a cake before - we're talking hundreds of cakes.

Of course, she was doing my wedding cake - she was also a bridesmaid and her two girls were jr. bridesmaid and flower girl (in retrospect, I *may* have put a little too much on her icon_eek.gif). My wedding cake was a three tier cascade of vanilla, chocolate, and carrot with white fondant draped and piped to look like an embroidered handkerchief.

She finished the cake the night before, left it on the table as per usual.

Woke up the morning of the wedding to a scene that would make you want to run away with the circus. The dog had consumed almost the entire cake - every layer of the cake was ruined, and to add insult to injury, it made the dog sick and there was cakey dog puke piles EVERYWHERE.

My wonderful friend.. she was a champion, though, to this day I have no idea how she did it. She made a new cake. She showed up to the wedding looking amazing with her two amazingly beautiful daughters in tow as well.

Admittedly.. the cake was um.. slightly underdone. icon_lol.gif The middle was a little... soggy, as I recall. But it LOOKED fantastic and I still don't know how she managed it. She's my superhero! She didn't tell me until she had already made a new one, or I would have told her not to bother and just stop by the grocery store or something icon_lol.gif

Anyway just thought I would share.. no matter how well behaved your dog is, no matter how well you have him/her trained. Sometimes temptation just might get the better of them.. you might consider putting the cake behind a closed door for those high-profile, time sensitive cakes icon_wink.gif

32 replies
BK13 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 1:34pm
post #2 of

I know not many people might give it a second's thought as we are mostly a pet loving society, but I personally have an issue buying a cake (or any food for that matter) from anyone who prepares it in an environment that has indoor pets roaming about, not to mention little kids who might be poking their grubby fingers into cakes and frosting, licking and poking again. Sorry if that offends anyone with pets and kids icon_redface.gif , it is just how I feel. I've just discovered this forum and it is totally addictive!! I think it is good that in the US, there is such strict regulations against home bakers setting up shop in their home kitchens. I think the rules are much more relaxed in Australia (which is where I'm from) and I believe many 'baking from home' bakers got the 'ok' from councils and the like to set up a cake decorating business from their home kitchens. It is unfortunate though that nothing much seems to be done to regulate hygiene during the preparation of cakes for sale. I know so many have pets in the house and are mums with young children and the thought of pet hair and saliva slicked fingers in cakes meant for customers gives me the shudders thumbsdown.gif .

Eisskween Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 2:09pm
post #3 of

I learned that this also applies to squirrels. I took a cake to cool on the patio once....ONCE. Placed it on my picnic table, went to do some laundry and house cleaning and when I came back, three of the little stinkers were having their own party on the patio with MY CAKE! Wound up tossing, rebaking and from then on, the cakes stay in the house. It was just a family dinner cake, so having it cool outside wasn't an issue.

But yeah, animals whether indoor or out, cannot be trusted around food of any kind.

beck60 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 2:12pm
post #4 of

Just a story about little fingers. When my grandson was 2 1/2 he knew better then to touch any cakes I made. I only ever make for family and friends. I found some finger lines in icing of a cake I had made and in front of the cake I confronted him on it. Right there in front of me he runs his finger in the icing again and say, Stop that finger ,my finger won't stop that. I couldn't help but laugh so that didn't help me scold him for it. This just bought back a memory of that and not being able to trust little ones and pets no matter what their taught.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 2:21pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by BK13

I know not many people might give it a second's thought as we are mostly a pet loving society, but I personally have an issue buying a cake (or any food for that matter) from anyone who prepares it in an environment that has indoor pets roaming about, not to mention little kids who might be poking their grubby fingers into cakes and frosting, licking and poking again. Sorry if that offends anyone with pets and kids icon_redface.gif , it is just how I feel. I've just discovered this forum and it is totally addictive!! I think it is good that in the US, there is such strict regulations against home bakers setting up shop in their home kitchens. I think the rules are much more relaxed in Australia (which is where I'm from) and I believe many 'baking from home' bakers got the 'ok' from councils and the like to set up a cake decorating business from their home kitchens. It is unfortunate though that nothing much seems to be done to regulate hygiene during the preparation of cakes for sale. I know so many have pets in the house and are mums with young children and the thought of pet hair and saliva slicked fingers in cakes meant for customers gives me the shudders thumbsdown.gif .




Well I have four kids and a licensed cake business.

HOWEVER:

I keep a gate up in the kitchen doorway, and I have locks on my cake refrigerators. And I never let my kids "help" with anything that is for someone outside of the family.

BK13 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 2:37pm
post #6 of

Good on you for being hygiene conscious, always good to know they are out there. I have a few friends (most of whom are normal housewives and mums) who will dip their fingers into food and lick to 'taste' or feed and pet their dogs/cats while preparing food which is meant to be served to guests when they are having dinner parties icon_eek.gif. I know they don't think there is anything wrong in doing that, just their normal day to day habits icon_razz.gif . Love them lots but strange that I don't normally have much of an appetite when being served food at these homes icon_biggrin.gif .

I also have a baker friend who is licensed to sell home baked goods. She has 2 long haired dogs that have free run of the house, and a cat that has a tendency to jump onto the dining table and kitchen bench. Love her lots too but I don't purchase any baked goodies from her icon_redface.gif.

Not trying to start any sort of argument here about home bakers and hygiene, but perhaps putting out there a buyer's perspective to make home bakers aware that what they see as norm in their kitchen may not be all that appetising to an outsider, is all..... Peace to all.......

tarheelgirl Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 2:51pm
post #7 of

I have a licensed business as well. My 2 kids never "help" nor do they come anywhere in contact with my cakes. When I'm working they know they are not to be anywhere near my space. My kitchen is sanitized/cleaner then most storefront bakeries that I've been in! In my state, you are not allowed to run a home baking facility with ANY roaming animals.

Prill Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 2:52pm
post #8 of

I am not offended. I have two cocker spaniels that live indoors and you could eat off of my floors.

BK13 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 3:02pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelgirl

In my state, you are not allowed to run a home baking facility with ANY roaming animals.



That is good to know. Wish they will reinforce that rule here! But does the health department do surprise checks every now and then? Just thinking that maybe someone can get their kitchen licensed, then after a time, they acquire a pet for their kids or something, ya know LoL icon_lol.gif .

BK13 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 3:08pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prill

I am not offended. I have two cocker spaniels that live indoors and you could eat off of my floors.



icon_biggrin.gif I believe you prill, but I'd still say thanks but no thanks LOL. I love dogs (more so than cats icon_wink.gif ) but still don't believe they have any place inside my house, or on my sofa or worse still, in my bed. Oops, waiting for the stones that are gonna be aimed at me now from pet lovers tapedshut.gificon_biggrin.gif .

tarheelgirl Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 3:12pm
Quote:
Quote:

But does the health department do surprise checks every now and then?




They can and will!

beck60 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 4:46pm

Another thought ,my husbands uncle worked for the board of health for 54 years. He told me about a man that was selling cakes out of his home and he had 3 dogs. He had been turned in couple of times for pet hair in the cakes. He said the last time he went to check the man on this issue the man went to making pet treats instead of cakes because of fines he had to pay. No home baking in Indiana.

Darthburn Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 5:13pm

Doesn't really matter what you say to prove that you have a clean kitchen and 110% impecible hygiene practice while baking cakes with pets and / or kids in your house... BK13 is just one of those people that is going to say whatever is needed to make thier point and stir the pot.

But let's be real... no matter where you go... restaurants, fast food, friends houses... you can never guarantee there is no 'extras' in your food. The behind the scenes people not wearing hair nets, beard nets, not washing after the bathroom, coming in to work sick, coughing, sneezing, tasting.

So to those of you that go above and beyond to be concious of what goes in your cakes, I applaud you.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 5:22pm

In our state home baking is legal but the licensing laws say no pets in the home, and no children in the kitchen during food prep for customers. I can't always keep my kids totally OUT but they are not allowed to be anywhere near my workspace. They can do what they have to do and leave again.

Darthburn Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 5:41pm

Kitagirl - for some reason that popped a question into my head... what age to they consider a kid? Is it like 0-12? Just curious, that's interesting to me.
thanks icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 5:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darthburn

Kitagirl - for some reason that popped a question into my head... what age to they consider a kid? Is it like 0-12? Just curious, that's interesting to me.
thanks icon_smile.gif




I dunno. Just says children. haha. They really aren't too strict, I'd say its just a guideline hoping to make sure people aren't letting their toddlers play with the frosting while mom is working for a client!

heavenlys Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 6:01pm

I own a licensed storefront bakery. I have 2 daughters 6 and 11. They both at times help me in the bakery. They are educated in food safety and proper food handling. Washing hands, wearing gloves. Hair pulled back and ect. They can bleach a bathroom and wash rinse and santize dishes like a pro. And interact with customers intelligently and answer questions about what we offer. They always tell everyone our secret ingredient is LOVE icon_biggrin.gificon_wink.gif
It is all about educating them and encouraging their budding interest in what mommy and daddy do.
We are truly a family owned and operated business. Most of our staff is family also. Some people have made comments about how they are so young and think it is unfair that they work. I say they are BEGGING to help and it is no different then when I grew up on the farm and my dad made me scoop hog crap! At least they wanna do this! icon_biggrin.gif

sabre Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 6:17pm

SandraDoll - Thanks for sharing your side-splitting story. After reading it, I laughed hysterically. You made my day. Congratulations on your wedding and I wish you happiness.

Niki11784 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 6:23pm

The first thought that came to my mind after reading the OP is WOW what an amazing friend! I know its her fault, but still- to pull that off is amazing! I have 3 little kids, and they are not allowed in the kitchen when I bake, and all finished cakes go on top of a high bookshelf- I don't want to take any chances!!

BK13 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:28am
Quote:
Originally Posted by beck60

He had been turned in couple of times for pet hair in the cakes. He said the last time he went to check the man on this issue the man went to making pet treats instead of cakes because of fines he had to pay.



Eeewwwww!!! Hahaha LOLz icon_biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darthburn

BK13 is just one of those people that is going to say whatever is needed to make thier point and stir the pot.



What the??? In every forum I've heard there will exist the naturally nasty and vicious poison tongue people who just can't stop themselves from insulting and attacking others. Guess I've just found the first one in this forum!! I like to bake (not business, just for hobby) and someone recommended this forum, and I joined cos I've liked what I've read and learned from recent posts. But people like you really spoil it for others. Thought this is a forum for friendly debate and viewpoints. Guess you have a different agenda here huh icon_evil.gif. You must be one sad unhappy individual. Be gone with you (POOF, and a puff of smoke rises and disappears). My life is full and satisfying and there is no space in it for nasties like you!! thumbsdown.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlys

I have 2 daughters 6 and 11. They are educated in food safety and proper food handling. Washing hands, wearing gloves. Hair pulled back.......... bleach a bathroom and wash rinse and santize dishes like a pro. And interact with customers intelligently and answer questions about what we offer. They always tell everyone our secret ingredient is LOVE icon_biggrin.gificon_wink.gif
It is all about educating them and encouraging their budding interest in what mommy and daddy do. Most of our staff is family also. Some people have made comments about how they are so young and think it is unfair that they work. I say they are BEGGING to help and it is no different then when I grew up on the farm and my dad made me scoop hog crap! At least they wanna do this! icon_biggrin.gif



How lovely. Goodies taste extra good too when love is an ingredient icon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gif. I think if your kids and young family members love what they are doing, it can only be a good thing as along with being tremendous help to you, they are also learning skills, business sense and responsibilities that many other kids won't have an opportunity to learn. As long as they have been properly trained in hygiene and safety, especially around commercial equipment, good on you for teaching them and good on them for wanting to learn. Don't think there is a lot of difference in our helping mum or grandma in the kitchen or in the house growing up or helping them in a business (if they had one).

kristiemarie Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 7:31pm

Obviously, you've never seen the back house of a restaurant.

You want dirty? 9 times out of 10 there will be all sorts of health hazards going on in the kitchen.

Even the best restaurants will have some things going on back that that you'd rather not think about. (ie, fruit flies for one).

Trust me. It's not about the environment, it's the baker.

But I totally agree that dogs running around a baking area is gross. It's just one of those pick your poison. Dog hair? Human hair? Spit? Think about how often the server talks over your food. Saliva sprays out in a fine fine mist every time we talk.

KateLS Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 8:04pm

We went to a restaurant recently, and they had their kitchen open to the customers to see. There was a girl taking the pasta dough out of the roller. She had black nail polish on and large, black velcro bracelets with metal rings on both wrists. No gloves or anything. She was carrying the pasta dough like a large piece of fondant, up above her elbows. *bleh* I am almost 100% sure she hadn't washed those bracelets....ever. It was more than a bit disturbing.

kristiemarie Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 8:16pm

It's bad. Trust me. My husband has been running restaurants for along time. He is stickler but even he can't get everything, every time.

ChRiStY_71 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 8:23pm

Wow! She must Superwoman to have completed another wedding cake and still show up dressed for the wedding! What a great story! icon_smile.gif

mburkett Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 8:33pm

Just last week, I made a cake for my niece's birthday and left it out on the dining table while I went to change for her party. My husband told me that he'd keep on eye on the kids, cats & dogs but everyone got distracted. Guess what....our "new" kitten (who hasn't learned yet tables are off limits) found the cake and helped herself to a nice bite out of the side of it. I pretty much cut a giant chunk out of the cake and filled it with fresh buttercream. (Glad I saved some). I'm not a professional and it was just for my family but we tossed the top tier anyway. (Good thing there were 2).

It provided a good laugh for everyone though.

kristiemarie Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 8:38pm

Well, yeah mburkett, it isn't going to kill you. And really, it's not that big of a health hazard. There are far worse things that can get into food. But the thought is always kind of icky, isn't it? LOL

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 3:34am

We went to my boss's house for a Christm party one year. Georgeous, half million dollar house. The food was a buffet. Her cat decided the spiral sliced ham looked tasty, he jumped on the counter and chomped away. Someone told her, she walked over, hacked off that parry of the ham, laughed, and served the rest of the ham. YUCK, we left short,y after and didn't eat anything.

Did you see last week's episode of Restaurant Impossible? Ewe, it was so disgusting! I want to know why the health department had not shut that place down before Robeert even got there. It waas nauseating.

BK13 Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 7:41am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristiemarie

Obviously, you've never seen the back house of a restaurant.

You want dirty? 9 times out of 10 there will be all sorts of health hazards going on in the kitchen.

Trust me. It's not about the environment, it's the baker.

But I totally agree that dogs running around a baking area is gross. It's just one of those pick your poison. Dog hair? Human hair? Spit? Think about how often the server talks over your food. Saliva sprays out in a fine fine mist every time we talk.



I absolutely agree. It is totally all about the cook/baker!! Their hygiene knowledge and standards will set the ground rules for all that they produce in their kitchen.

I actually have been into many restaurant kitchens as we have many good friends who own restaurants. And yes, many practices even in professional kitchens can be improved, no doubt about that. Expensive high class restaurants don't always mean good hygiene in the kitchen unfortunately.

BK13 Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 7:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretAgentCakeBaker

The food was a buffet. Her cat decided the spiral sliced ham looked tasty, he jumped on the counter and chomped away. Someone told her, she walked over, hacked off that parry of the ham, laughed, and served the rest of the ham. YUCK, we left short,y after and didn't eat anything.



Eewwww that is quite gross. I can understand that pet owners don't see much wrong sharing their food with their pets, after all the pets become part of their family. On the other hand, an outsider may not share the same passion for the animal, and above is case in point. Appetites can be lost when one witness something like that, does make you wonder where the cat was when the food for the buffet table was actually being prepared icon_lol.gificon_eek.gif LOL.

letsgetcaking Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 10:28am

I've enjoyed reading this thread and everyone's stories. icon_smile.gif

I am terrified of germs getting into food. When my kids help with everyday cooking, they know I'm going to make them rewash their hands any time they touch their face, taste something, or pretty much touch anything that is not a kitchen utinsel or the counter. It was really frustrating at first (for all of us) to constantly have to stop and rewash hands, but they're really conscious and good about it now. One of my favorite quotes is one I heard from a military chef:

Quote:
Quote:


"Nothing says love like not giving someone a foodborne illness."




Heavenlys, I love that you allow your children to help with your family business! That is a dream of mine, to own our own business someday and to teach my children all the different aspects of the business.

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