Im filling out an application for my home inspection. And have a quick question.
Is it better to say that I'm delivering my finished product, or that customer picks it up?
I usually have customers pick up my cakes, except when they ask me to deliver it(very few times) but i dont know how FDA is looking at it.
Thanks is advance!
It really depends- Before I could even apply for my residential kitchen license I needed to get a special permit through zoning to even be allowed to have a home occupation. Although the kitchen license doesn't prevent me from delivering or having customers pick up on location, my zoning permit isn't quite as black and white per say.
My zoning permit prohibits commercial deliveries to my location on anything larger than a box truck.
On my application I specified that customers would be picking things up from my location 99% of the time and their only concern would be the traffic since I'm in a residential neighborhood.
PS, my town isn't very business friendly... lol I feel like I've had to jump through hoops and do MUCH more than most of the people here just to open!
You need to check with zoning first.... I just went and checked with my zoning the other week and was told if customers were coming to my home to pick up their cakes I would have to have handicap parking as well as handicap bathrooms, etc. Im not sure if that is for all of NC or it depends on the county. So I have to deliver my cakes and I cannot have any kind of signs saying I have a business in my yard.
My zoning permits to have almost any business, but no advertisiments per HOA rules. And I'm ok with that.I only have 2-3 cake orders per week since i have a full time job, so high traffic wont be an issue. I just wasnt sure if FDA will need to inspect my vechicle for anything if I will deliver my cakes.
Call the agency that does home inspections and ask about their guidelines. They can tell you what is allowed. And how is the FDA involved?
MimiFix , our inspection dept is part of Food and Drug Protection Division, so to say it shortly, i said FDA, but i meant the Food and Drug Division.
I didn't have to deal with having handicap facilities because the goods I'm selling are all on a to-go basis and I'm not a storefront. I'm sure every state is different on rules and regulations. What a pain.
Regarding the signs, I also am not allowed to post any type of sign outside the house per my zoning permit but was told if it were something I really wanted to do, I could appeal the decision and probably succeed with certain limitations on the size.
I am in NC and as far as I know there was no mention of delivery restrictions mandated by the NC Dept. of Agriculture. Where I encountered restrictions was from my county zoning dept. In my city I cannot have any signage and the restrictions are in place regarding pick ups happening at the house in order to ensure that people do not have in essence a "store front" bakery operating out of their home.
During my inspection the following were inspected:
the kitchen, including mixer, all cabinets, food storage areas( with clearly labeled designated business only food items, stove and refrigerator (have thermometer in each and make sure fridge is at 40 degrees or lower with designated shelves for business items), the sink and the water temperature
bathroom closest to kitchen (make sure to have paper towels in there)
my work room and all equipment (you have to have separate business use bowls, measuring spoons, cups, spatulas, etc.)
Kitchen and work room had to have shatter proof bulbs
Hope this helps. If you have any further questions, let me know.
heartsnsync, thank you so much for the info!
Im currently looking for shatterproof lamps that are also energy efficient, since the rest of my house has energy efficient lighting.
I had no idea about business only dishes. Did you have to put all "business only" items in a separate cabinet?
and how did you go about opened items? like flour, sugar?
im not suppose to have any bags of food on the floor correct(like in a pantry)?
and what about under the sink? can I store chemicals there?
Yes, your business dishes, utensils, and food ingredient items have to be kept separate from your household use items and the shelves they are on in the cabinet and refrigerator/freezer have to be labeled "for business use only". You can have utensils for business and home use in the same drawer but only if you have a separate utensil holder for the business items clearly labeled "for business use". Any opened bags of flour, sugar, etc. have to be placed in covered containers or placed in ziploc bags. It is okay to have chemicals under the sink as long as there are no food or dishes under there.
No food items stored on the floor. Also, you can have throw rugs in the kitchen but cannot have wall-to-wall carpet. I don't think anyone would but that is one of their rules!
Any more questions?
thank you so much!!! i better get started on cleaning and separating
for anyone who is interested, here is a list of main requirements for a home inspection for Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Straigh from inspectors email:
I am including for your review some key requirements for what to expect when the home processor inspection is conducted. It generally takes about 1 hour.
Preparation for a Home Kitchen Inspection
Store all ingredients, pots, pans, utensils and packaging materials for your business together. These items should not be comingled with items that are for personal use. A shelf in your pantry, cabinet, or separate shelving is acceptable.
All the cabinets, drawers, and pantry in your kitchen where business items are stored will be inspected. Make sure these areas are clean, organized, and are free of food residues. Shine a flash light in the back corners to check for possible dead insects and other pest activity.
If you will be using refrigerated ingredients, a thermometer needs to be purchased and placed inside the refrigerator. An area in the refrigerator needs to be designated for business storage. Temperature should be less than 45 degrees F. Your refrigerator will be inspected for the correct temperature and cleanliness.
Freezer will also be inspected.
Hot water will be checked to make sure it is available and adequate. A specific temperature is not required.
Lights in the kitchen overhead, in the stove hood, over countertops and over the sink must be shielded or the bulbs must be shatter resistant.
Rest room nearest the kitchen will be inspected. Toilet should be clean and functioning. Hot water must be available at the hand wash sink as well as pump soap (no bar soap) and disposable hand towels.
one more thing, Lowes has shatter proof high efficiency lamps for a reasonable $6 each.