What Happens When You Get Sick?

Decorating By JustGettinStarted Updated 22 Mar 2011 , 8:25pm by Larkin121

JustGettinStarted Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 1:43am
post #1 of 21

A few weeks ago I had to cancel my son's 1st birthday and throw away his cake because I (unknowingly) was sick when I made it (stomach bug). So, what do you all do when you get sick and you have a cake due? I guess I'm speaking mostly to those of you who don't have someone to help you.

20 replies
simplysouthern Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 2:00am
post #2 of 21

Cakers don't get sick! icon_biggrin.gif jk I do have someone that can help me out when I'm under the weather but usually I tough it out. Long sleeve chefs coat, a medical mask, and sterile gloves. My hubby is a cop so we have some pretty heavy duty equipment LOL. Tummy flu is a whole other thing, I too would've tossed the cake!!

acookieobsession Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 6:22pm
post #3 of 21

Yes-I use gloves and a mask if it's a cough thing and I knew about it prior. But if you made it during the time when you getting sick i probably would have remade it too.

Bummer though if it was a big cake...

Julia

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vtcake Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 4:03am
post #4 of 21

I sucked it up a few weeks ago and wore a face mask, wash hands extra times, and got 'em done.

UpAt2am Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 4:22am
post #5 of 21

cakers, like moms, aren't allowed to get sick! icon_smile.gif it's a double whammy if you're a caker and a mommy (like me!) LOL

last weekend, i had a ton of cakes due...multiple party cakes, a huge groom's cake and a 4 tier wedding cake. on friday night, i started feeling awful. by 6am saturday morning, i checked myseslf into the ER. i was diagnosed with strep and bronchitis and sent on my way.

when i got home, i still had the wedding cake to stack and decorate, and a two tier party cake to stack and decorate. the show must go on! so i called my mom, brother, sister in law, sister and brother in law to come over and gave each person a task. i sat at the island and worked nonstop and told them what they could do (cut flowers, tint fondant, make RKT, fix me meals, watch my minis, pick up my meds, etc.). i wouldn't have been able to pull it off without them...i have THE best family in the entire world!

i've learned to ask for help when i need it and to not be the hero icon_smile.gif took me too many years to learn that one! oh, and i did wear gloves, a mask and washed my hands a ton! just thinking back about that weekend exhausts me LOL

simplysouthern Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 4:49am
post #6 of 21

Upat2am.......what a great support system!! That's such a great thing to have hm this business. So glad you got everything done for your orders_!

tryingcake Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 6:04am
post #7 of 21

Anyone in any type of entertainment (which we are) cannot cancel. The band doesn't show up, there is no party - the cake doesn't show up, there is no centerpiece to the food.

In my 28 years I have performed (in a rock band) with a 102 temp.... I have baked when I should have been in bed, and catered when I wanted to drop. We just do it. We take what precautions we can and drive on.

3 years ago I missed my first gig of any kind in 28 years. Luckily it was a cake and I could get someone to cover. I had a minor stroke which was o biggie. But as I fell I broke my skull open and had a major brain injury. I had a cake due in 3 days. I spent 8 days in ICU. I hated that I couldn't fulfill my obligations. I don't remember any of this now. But I'm told I was very worried, upset and kept telling people what to do about it.... LOL- even in ICU I'm trying to boss people around!

It sucks, but you just gotta do it no matter how you feel. And we have lots of good people around us willing to kick in when needed.

TillieBK Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 7:26am
post #8 of 21

OMG!!!  It is so dangerous to be around food when you are that sick. Health Code policies are there for a reason. A mask and gloves may put your mind at ease but there is no way to prevent airborne contamination before you put it all on. Look up Norovirus...as an OCD "clean freak" it definitely freaked me out!!!!!
If you consider the price of the cake -- that will not cover all of the penalties, lawsuits, and fines plus possibly being shut down for someone else getting sick or worse...

Having a colleague to call on who would call on you in turn is probably the best idea...it is definitely difficult for me to relinquish control but those are the times you have to do what you have to do--the other option is canceling.

You absolutely did the right thing throwing the cake away!!

dixiedarlin79 Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 9:43am
post #9 of 21

Typically by the time you start showing signs and symptoms of illness you have already been contagious and have been contaminating things for at least 24 hours prior. It's not just the cakes you work on while you are "sick" but even the ones you worked on before you started feeling sick. I know that doesn't give anyone any peace of mind but just thought I'd throw that out there for ya! icon_twisted.gif

You did the right thing by tossing it!

MikeRowesHunny Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 11:21am
post #10 of 21

Depends on the 'sickness'. I wouldn't make a cake with a tummy bug, flu or similar contagious disease. I have dragged myself in the kitchen during gallstone attacks, migraines etc though. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

allaboutcakeuk Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 11:56am
post #11 of 21

[quote="JustGettinStarted"]A few weeks ago I had to cancel my son's 1st birthday and throw away his cake because I (unknowingly) was sick when I made it (stomach bug). So, what do you all do when you get sick and you have a cake due? I guess I'm speaking mostly to those of you who don't have someone to help you.[/quote

Its a tough one - obviously if it's a sickness/tummy bug then its shut down. I work on my own and its really not good when you're ill. Last week I had to work thorugh a severe migraine attack as I had so much work on. So I just did the simple jobs I could actually see to do!

A good idea is to have a cake buddy. I have a friend I met through training and we are each other's support system. If one is really sick or something goes wrong we can help out. I did for her on a wheat free cake last week and she helped me when I had too many wedding favours and was bridesmaid.. its a good system you don't have to be in one another's pockets or take liberties but its helpful to know its there. Also works well for ordering bulk stuff and doubling up to get discounts or free delivery

Anyone in your area who does cakes you could link up with as a support system or maybe put something out on here?

icon_biggrin.gif

allaboutcakeuk Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 11:58am
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

Anyone in any type of entertainment (which we are) cannot cancel. The band doesn't show up, there is no party - the cake doesn't show up, there is no centerpiece to the food.

In my 28 years I have performed (in a rock band) with a 102 temp.... I have baked when I should have been in bed, and catered when I wanted to drop. We just do it. We take what precautions we can and drive on.

3 years ago I missed my first gig of any kind in 28 years. Luckily it was a cake and I could get someone to cover. I had a minor stroke which was o biggie. But as I fell I broke my skull open and had a major brain injury. I had a cake due in 3 days. I spent 8 days in ICU. I hated that I couldn't fulfill my obligations. I don't remember any of this now. But I'm told I was very worried, upset and kept telling people what to do about it.... LOL- even in ICU I'm trying to boss people around!

It sucks, but you just gotta do it no matter how you feel. And we have lots of good people around us willing to kick in when needed.




Bless you I can imagine like most cakers you were so worried about the cake I know I'd be the same! I hope you're fully recovered now that must have been a really difficult time icon_smile.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 8:29pm
post #13 of 21

FYI- Viruses cannot live on cake for any extended amount of time. They MUST have a living host. There would be danger if you coughed on it and someone ate it immeadiately afterwords, but if it was the next day, the viruses would be dead and gone...well, not gone, but dead! Yes, gross, and take every precaution you can, but no one will get sick off of it. Viruses thrive at a temperture of around 98 to 104 degrees. Outside of that temp, they die fairly quickly. In a resturant, it is a huge deal because food is consumed quickly after handling, and stays warm, in a setting like most of ours, room temp and not consumed for at leat 3 hours, (display time at party) do the cake asap with every precaution in place, double wash hands, and mask up, and most likely, the cake won't be a pathogen.

Annabakescakes Posted 20 Mar 2011 , 8:29pm
post #14 of 21

Good grief, it is double posting AGAIN!!! Sorry...

TillieBK Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 4:37am
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

FYI- Viruses cannot live on cake for any extended amount of time. They MUST have a living host. There would be danger if you coughed on it and someone ate it immeadiately afterwords, but if it was the next day, the viruses would be dead and gone...well, not gone, but dead! Yes, gross, and take every precaution you can, but no one will get sick off of it. Viruses thrive at a temperture of around 98 to 104 degrees. Outside of that temp, they die fairly quickly. In a resturant, it is a huge deal because food is consumed quickly after handling, and stays warm, in a setting like most of ours, room temp and not consumed for at leat 3 hours, (display time at party) do the cake asap with every precaution in place, double wash hands, and mask up, and most likely, the cake won't be a pathogen.




That is actually not accurate. While many viruses do only live a couple of hours without a host, food may act as a host--especially sugar based foods. There are microbes that live longer than we do on flat surfaces while the majority of viruses (like Norovirus) have an unknown lifespan.

Annabakescakes Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 2:55pm
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TillieBK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

FYI- Viruses cannot live on cake for any extended amount of time. They MUST have a living host. There would be danger if you coughed on it and someone ate it immeadiately afterwords, but if it was the next day, the viruses would be dead and gone...well, not gone, but dead! Yes, gross, and take every precaution you can, but no one will get sick off of it. Viruses thrive at a temperture of around 98 to 104 degrees. Outside of that temp, they die fairly quickly. In a resturant, it is a huge deal because food is consumed quickly after handling, and stays warm, in a setting like most of ours, room temp and not consumed for at leat 3 hours, (display time at party) do the cake asap with every precaution in place, double wash hands, and mask up, and most likely, the cake won't be a pathogen.



That is actually not accurate. While many viruses do only live a couple of hours without a host, food may act as a host--especially sugar based foods. There are microbes that live longer than we do on flat surfaces while the majority of viruses (like Norovirus) have an unknown lifespan.




You need to call the Health department where I took my food safety courses and let them know! And I wasn't talking about microbes, just viruses. I know they live for a little while on surfaces, but they do die if they do not having a living host. Bacteria is something else entirely. It lives until it is killed, by temperature or chemicals.

Annabakescakes Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 2:58pm
post #17 of 21

And I am sure that some viruses do live longer than others. And while thay may sit on a surface for a while, they cannot and do not eat, which means they cannot grow and multiply. And they die off. Their whole purpose in live is to grow and multiply, and they need a living host to do that.

TillieBK Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 8:35pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

And I am sure that some viruses do live longer than others. And while thay may sit on a surface for a while, they cannot and do not eat, which means they cannot grow and multiply. And they die off. Their whole purpose in live is to grow and multiply, and they need a living host to do that.




Anna' I apologize if I offended you--I am just stating facts.  For reference purposes my hubs is a microbiologist and probably why I am such a germaphobe (as all bakers and chef should be--my opinion not fact icon_wink.gif )!!!  Any minute, simple, single-celled form of life, especially one that cause disease is the definition of a microbe. Both viruses and bacteria can fall into that category and that is why I used that term.

My point was that they do not all die immediately and would not necessarily be dead the next day either especially when the majority of viruses out there have an unknown lifespan. They are able to live on a cake surface much longer than others because according to microbiology viruses love argenine (an amino acid) which is contained in several cake ingredients.

TillieBK Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 8:36pm
post #19 of 21

...now, if you'll excuse me I need to go wipe down my kitchen again with Clorox!!! LOL! icon_wink.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:54pm
post #20 of 21

My topic reply update went to my spam folder, so I am just now getting this. I was not offended, but taken aback, and alarmed! If this is not so, then the Heath Department is wrong! We learned that viruses are not made of cells and that they need moisture, warmth, and darkness to produce. So, if they are on a counter top or handle, they cannot reproduce, and if they cannot reproduce then they die. They showed slides that had been licked by someone with a cold and on each slide, the amount of virus has been depleted due to a time lapse. After 15 hours or so, the viruses left open to dry in the light had almost been completly depleted, while the ones in humidty and darkness were more than half gone, but the ones that had stayed in the host (more licking) were thriving and had been producing.

We learned that bacteria can sit for a hundred years or more on surfaces, and he showed us a study that they took some weird thing out of some old safety deposit box and it was covered in bacteria from the Wild West.

Regardless, take every precaution you can, wash hands twice and use a barrier two. Wipe everything in Lysol when you are done, and once more when you are well. And remember, whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger! Our immune systems like a good workout thumbs_up.gif

Larkin121 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:25pm
post #21 of 21

Norovirus can live for 2 weeks on a soft surface (like carpet), which is why after you have this yucky stomach bug, you have to be careful about inviting others to your house for up to 2 weeks later. Hard surfaces are up to 12 hours. After learning this, when a stomach bug runs through our family, I assume Norovirus since it's the longest lasting, and I'm careful to disinfect every surface I can with Lysol and not have people over for a while. Those who have been sick with it are also contagious for up to two weeks afterward.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:wJE1ULEmOmoJ:www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/id-mi/norovirus-eng.php+how+long+does+norovirus+live+on+hard+surfaces&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a&source=www.google.com

Also, all the food safety stuff here says that if you have a stomach bug, you cannot return to working with food until you are symptom free for 48-72 hours. Therefore, I don't think anyone should be working on a cake while ill with a stomach virus. I'd be pretty pissed as a customer if someone gave me a food product that they made while knowingly being contagious with that.

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