Mortified- There Is No Other Word For It- Two Dog Hairs Found In My Cake- Is This The End Of My Business?

Decorating By lisatipperoo Updated 14 Oct 2014 , 12:10am by cakesbycathy

lisatipperoo Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 1:40pm
post #1 of 20

HI everyone- I bake from my home kitchen in Ohio under cottage food law. No my kitchen is not licensed and I am not inspected. We have one animal in our home and that is a large German Shepherd dog that belongs to my husband. He is not allowed in our kitchen AT ALL EVER- I have it gated off even though it is open to the living room area in that there is no closed door. My kitchen is open to the dining area as well as the living room. The dog has to come through the dining area to go out into our fenced backyard. I vacuum my house at least four days a week, except for when I have a baking project- I do not vacuum on those days because I don't want any fur to fly. 

 

After all that blah blah blah a new customer still found two dog hairs in her cake this weekend and I am beyond mortified. She seemed genuinely kind about it and messaged me about it on Facebook, saying she didn't know how to approach me about it, but that she wanted me to know. I felt terrible, absolutely terrible, and I apologized profusely and offered her a complete refund. I haven't heard back from her yet, because I"m sure she's busy, but I"m on shock and just beside myself to know what to do now. I've been baking cakes from my home for almost three years and have never had this happen. I'm so careful. 

 

I'm so upset that I'm actually shaking. I literally don't know what to do now. I do bake to supplement our meager income (my husband is disabled from a work accident and not able to get a job). We have two children in elementary school and my baking basically keeps shoes on their feet. 

 

What would you do in this situation? Have I done all that I can do? Is there any way to prevent it from happening again short of getting rid of my husband's poor old dog? (I really don't want to do that to my husband or the poor dog). 

 

This feels like a nightmare. I want to crawl into a hole. My gosh, I am as dramatic as my second grader. 

 

Thanks for listening. 

19 replies
Norasmom Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 2:23pm
post #2 of 20

Well,that is indeed not good.  Dog hair travels.  It gets everywhere no matter how much you vacuum.  We moved into a home that looked immaculate but my vacuum was full of dog hairs the first (and second) time I cleaned, from the previous owner.

 

On another note, you are about to get a whole bunch of responses so I will cut to the chase:  you need to get licensed and certified!  It is not a business until you do this and since you have a CFL you should be able to do this.  I know you do not have much income and it can be expensive, but it truly is important.  

denetteb Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 2:36pm
post #3 of 20

I can't help your actual question but try to relax, take a deep breath and don't give yourself a stroke over this.  The customer sounds perfectly reasonable, you have offered her a refund, she isn't suing you or badmouthing you all over the internet.  I recall other posts about preventing hairs, if you do a google search, put in something like dog hair cake central     and you should find some helpful responses.  I do know some  people put on fresh clean clothes each time they bake so they aren't carrying any animal or human hair.  Some use lint rollers.  

lisatipperoo Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 2:51pm
post #4 of 20

Thank you for the responses so far. I am a really dramatic person on the internet, though not necessarily in person, so please forgive me :-). I guess I should count myself lucky for this being my first complaint in three years. 

 

Yes I do change my  clothes when it's time to bake- that's really important. I also clean my ceiling fans weekly as the hairs can get up there as well. I'm just baffled as to where not one but TWO hairs could have come from-my husband is now helping me to practically chlorox the house. He is not thrilled but I said it was this or the dog goes (hopefully he won't call my bluff). I love the husband and the dog so neither one can go, but change must happen. 

 

 

We are also looking into remodeling my laundry room into a bakery, moving my washer to the basement, but coming up with $$$ for both will not be easy

 

. Can anyone provide me with the best link to information on becoming a certified kitchen baker? 

Pastrybaglady Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 3:17pm
post #5 of 20
lisatipperoo Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 3:45pm
post #6 of 20

Thank you for the reply. :-) I did find it also via Google. Unfortunately unless we do get rid of the dog, there will be no licensed kitchen in this house according to the State of Ohio, which is completely understandable. I'm now questioning if selling cakes from my home, while completely legal in Ohio, is the best idea for me right now. 

ypierce82 Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 4:26pm
post #7 of 20


I am also in Ohio and bake under the CFL. I have 2 dogs in my home, and I just could never ever see getting rid of them, I just take every precaution that I can to make sure my work area is as clean as possible. Like someone else said, hair travels. And my kitchen and dining room is open to my living room. Before I bake, I vacuum twice in the living room, sweep and mop my floors. I also wipe down all counter tops and cabinets, the fridge....everything. I put on clean clothes, my apron, and tie my hair back..

Pastrybaglady Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 4:56pm
post #8 of 20

It depends on how much business you do, but a commercial kitchen is another option to consider.

ladyellam Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 6:05pm
post #9 of 20

You've gotten really good advice and this option might sound silly, but what if you bought a high intensity light that could go over your work space? Just a thought

-K8memphis Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 6:28pm
post #10 of 20

Ayes lots of great advice and i love ladyellam's bright light idea --

i have a couple floor lamps that are like sunlight for my work area -- they were $59 on eBay -- very portable -- flexible necks -- perfect for that

cakebaby2 Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 7:02pm
post #11 of 20

Lady baking cakes for extra cash in her own home, disabled husband, old dog....you know what?

%&() them?What did they expect Ron Ben Israel?

I'm so ticked off at C in the food chain thinking she,s better than B....you're that precious lady try A.

Quite frankly I'd rather have the hair of a pure bred GSD than the voddie soaked breath  of some scrubber who married a notch above her in my kitchen.

At least with the dog you get a pedigree.

cakebaby2 Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 7:15pm
post #12 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakebaby2 
 

Lady baking cakes for extra cash in her own home, disabled husband, old dog....you know what?

%&() them?What did they expect Ron Ben Israel?

I'm so ticked off at C in the food chain thinking she,s better than B....you're that precious lady try A.

Quite frankly I'd rather have the hair of a pure bred GSD than the voddie soaked breath  of some scrubber who married a notch above her in my kitchen.

At least with the dog you get a pedigree.

I will add that here in UK with the leaking like a sieve borders we have no clue who is baking our food, handling it or intentionally doing it harm. Therefore if I find a clean home baker with a couple of well cared for pets I have NO problem supporting them.

Clinical kitchens belong in clinics where I expect I will not pick up E_Coli Flu or any other bugs. I can go to my nearest surgery to get those things.

Anyone baking from home really has to live in those lab conditions or really no one can take you seriously?

-K8memphis Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 7:21pm
post #13 of 20

hair is organic and bio degradable 

-K8memphis Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 7:22pm
post #14 of 20

tell her it's not from your dog you think it's from your son/cousin/neighbor 'wolfman' but he's only around after dark...

cakebaby2 Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 7:33pm
post #15 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

hair is organic and bio degradable 

It sure is K8. Quite frankly this thread has ticked me off somewhat

Used to be we knew what was "clean" and what was not.

If I was a died in the wool clinician....they would make my food. If I'm on the social security my aspirations are on the middle class mum with the fancy kitchen, not so now.

I get really """"d off by snobs....working class ones are the worst,,,wont pay but criticise like toffs from Downton Abbey

-K8memphis Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 8:06pm
post #16 of 20

my cat crawled into an empty cake box i had all put together and i discarded it (the box not the cat ; ) because of obvious reasons -- but even just speaking while assembling a cake or while carrying out your food in a restaurant is at least as bad or worse as finding a hair and we all do that -- i'd say it's worse because you can't see any evidence -- and speaking over food is bad because everyone expectorates when they speak -- just placing your fingers on the top surface of the plate is no bueno  according to servsafe guidelines--

 

hopefully, op you won't need to refund anything

cakebaby2 Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 8:16pm
post #17 of 20

Refund nothing, explain that the dog has a long European pedigree (descended from Kaiser Willhelm's personal guard dog) and that historians had been grooming the dog that day for samples to detect lineage back to a ***** bred by Henry V111's wedding gift to Anne Boleyn.

Trust me, you wont have enough hairs to go round .

-K8memphis Posted 13 Oct 2014 , 8:18pm
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakebaby2 
 

Refund nothing, explain that the dog has a long European pedigree (descended from Kaiser Willhelm's personal guard dog) and that historians had been grooming the dog that day for samples to detect lineage back to a ***** bred by Henry V111's wedding gift to Anne Boleyn.

Trust me, you wont have enough hairs to go round .

 

 

you can raise your prices :lol: set up an etsy store :-D

MBalaska Posted 14 Oct 2014 , 12:05am
post #19 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by lisatipperoo 

 a new customer still found two dog hairs in her cake this weekend

 

it's also possible that it's happened before but was never brought to your attention. This lady seemed pretty understanding. It will probably work out just fine. Good luck with your business.

cakesbycathy Posted 14 Oct 2014 , 12:10am
post #20 of 20

Send the woman a refund anyway, even if she hasn't gotten back to you.  It's possible she wasn't upset (maybe she has dogs herself) but it's also possible she's telling everyone how disgusted she is and an automatic refund could go a long way towards making her feel better about the situation.

 

I am in OH as well but licensed.  We don't have pets in our house and you're correct that until you get rid of the dog you can't get licensed (which is very easy to do here).  Since you don't want to do that then you can either stop baking under cottage food or continue and take as many precautions as possible.  Even though you are taking precautions it's still possible this will happen again.  You need to weigh the risk of having to refund again, which doesn't help if you are counting on this income.

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