What Should I Expect From The Health Inspection?

Business By KellyJo3 Updated 23 Mar 2011 , 4:06pm by indydebi

KellyJo3 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 4:21pm
post #1 of 11

Hello, I just started my home based cake business in Virginia. I sent away for my business liscense and sellers liscense etc. I have not had any information on a health inspection though and I plan on inquiring about that. I was wondering what they look for when they do the inspection. I know so far that you need to have a super clean kitchen, seperate fridge for cakes, which I even keep my cakes supplies in seperate cupboards. I also heard having a tile countertop would disqualify me, which I have, but I do not use. I have a huge table that I use instead. Any information any could give me is greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading! icon_biggrin.gif

10 replies
indydebi Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 10:08am
post #2 of 11

I can't tell you specifically about your state, but in general, they are looking more for temperature control and safe food practices. You can scrub your counters and floors all day long, but if your refrigerator doesn't meet the temp requirement, you're screwed.

At my inspection, she was much more interested in the temps of my 'frig, freezer and dishwasher; she tested the water temp in all of my sinks, including the bathroom. Did I have separate towels by the handwashing sink (cannot use a cloth towel twice for drying hands). On subsequent inspections, he looked at food storage .... no eggs in the 'frig ABOVE any other foods (and ironically, a home refrigerator is usually designed with the egg tray on the TOP SHELF of the door, above the other foods!); were my meats stored on the bottom racks and my fresh veggies on the upper racks? Was the food flow set up according the HD guidelines? Did my bathroom door have an automatic door closer thingy on it? Was the wall behind my mop sink washable (sanitize-able?). And no, it wasn't ..... I had to add some washable material. Did I have enough trash cans .... with lids? Were all of my cleaning supplies in proper containers AND LABELED?

Having a clean kitchen is nice .. but as I say on here frequently: Surface clean is not the same as HD clean. They are looking for much much more than "did you mop the floor?"

Again .... I can't speak for your state requirements ... I can only share my experiences. thumbs_up.gif

You can give them a call and flat out ask them for a list of things so you can be sure everything is done right from the start. I'm sure they will be mroe than happy to help. thumbs_up.gif

KellyJo3 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 12:42am
post #3 of 11

Thank you so much for the help. I will be calling them to find out what exactly I need to do. Hopefully all goes well! Thank you again icon_smile.gif

PoodleDoodle Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 9:01pm
post #4 of 11

I live in VA. When I got inspected all they looked for was a double sink, asked to see disposable gloves, chlorine test strips, & a spray bottle. They asked if I had roachs & suggested that I put out roach traps to ensure there are none.

My kitchen was spotless. They didn't ask about a separate frig, which I have with a separate therometer, I believe they asked if I had a therometer for the oven.

I have pets & 2 years ago it wasn't a problem. I'm due for inspection again & they informed me that I would have to have a cake sample tested for pet hair! I asked "When did pet hair before a health issue" and the inspector just laughed. (Between you & me - I think it's just another fee they can charge to make money for the government.)

Last summer, they started charging an annual fee of $100 for a "Food Safety license".

I'm in Northern VA & the inspector I have is really nice. I've spoken to a few people in the Richmond office that weren't so nice.

Good luch,

MamaMia808 Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 9:06pm
post #5 of 11

We can't get home kitchens certified here but I know they look for a 3 basin sink (one for washing, one for rinsing and one for sanitizing), sanitizing test strips, hand soap, paper towels, hard clean floor, the right water and fridge temp (see Indydebi's post), etc.

I think mostly they walk around measuring temp and other environmental factors. Oh yeah, and I think here everything needs to be stored at least 6 inches off the ground (for flooding I think).

indydebi Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 9:12pm
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by MamaMia808

Oh yeah, and I think here everything needs to be stored at least 6 inches off the ground (for flooding I think).

and for easy cleaning under the storage units ... if you can't get a broom or mop under there, then you can't sweep away potential cobwebs, etc.; Elevating off of the floor is also a deterrent for bugs getting into the supplies (as opposed to boxes just sitting on the floor which bugs love to nest in!)

But it think its mostly for cleaning accessibility. thumbs_up.gif

kpry Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 11:07pm
post #7 of 11

I recently had an inspection in Pennsylvania.

The inspector wanted a separate storage area for personal and business ingredients. Also a separate shelf in the fridge - I got a small fridge just for my cake stuff, he also tested the temperature. He tested the hot water and that was it.

We can not have any pets either.

Filling out the paper work took much longer.

PoodleDoodle Posted 19 Mar 2011 , 8:04pm
post #8 of 11

Just thought of another thing the VA inspector asks - Hair net or a hat.

Good Luck

KellyJo3 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 2:37pm
post #9 of 11

Well I just found out that in Hampton, VA you have to have a detached area to operate your business, which I do not have since I live in a trailer. It's a nice trailer though, double wide and all, but not good enough apparently. I asked about getting a mobile kitchen and that sounds like a PIA. You have to have commisary agreements and all. and the trailer has to be up to their standards (have a 3 basin sink, enough storage and much more) I'm really sad because I thought it was getting a bit easier for us in VA. I am in the process of finding a home for rent with a garage and hopefully that will hold them off until I can purchase my own home, but I got to make the money first! Kind of a catch 22. Oh and there are no commercial kitchens for rent around here either! I'm having no luck let me tell ya!

KellyJo3 Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 4:03pm
post #10 of 11

Thank god! I just got a call back from my city's dept. of agriculture. They told me I could bake and decorate cakes from my home and they are sending my packet today. Whew!!! I was so sad that this was not going to fall through!

indydebi Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 4:06pm
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by KellyJo3

Thank god! I just got a call back from my city's dept. of agriculture. They told me I could bake and decorate cakes from my home and they are sending my packet today. Whew!!! I was so sad that this was not going to fall through!

YAY!!! party.gif

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