So my family is thinking of adopting a cat. I was just wondering if I have to mention this to potential clients to see if they are allergic? Can the allergens get "into" the cake? Obviously I would prevent the cat from coming in the kitchen while baking and decorating but I just want to be safe about it...
does your state have a regulation about it -- last I knew it is ok in some states like Ohio for their lowest level of caking -- in my state you cannot have a pet 'in the building' -- pet dander is airborne of course -- especially for a cat
I have a small dog with little to no hair and I have to be able to close off my kitchen from him when I'm baking. He hates the stove and runs upstairs when I start pulling out pots and pans, so not an issue.
However, I have had cats throughout my life. I actually waited to start my biz until my cat passed. I don't think allergens would get into the cake. However, I would not let the cat in the kitchen ever because they tend to climb all over the counters and everything when no one is looking. And, if it's an indoor cat with a litter box....gross.
Also, will you be having clients pick up orders? Will you be doing cake tastings in your home? That may be an issue with allergies.
Finally, like K8 stated, check with your local health inspector. It may be a no go anyway.
I have a cat with a bad hip so he can't jump, which makes him perfect for no counter-walking. But make sure you get a black cat with short hair so that you can see if there's shedding. And clean everything like mad before doing any baking or decorating. Honestly, I have more trouble with fibers from random stuff floating around than I do with cat hair, its unusual that I find any, but I vacuum a lot too.
And definitely check to see if there are regulations about having pets with a cake business. Some places won't let you have one at all, others make you keep them out of the work area, etc. It varies by location.
Well, that's an idea- adopt an older cat that can't jump :)
My daughter is always harassing me about getting another cat, and I've told her that it would have to be a short-haired black cat with no legs.
Would you name him Stumpy?
scroll down to lyla, last picture -- she has 3 out of 4 -- you could re-name her
edited to say i didn't even know they have specifically designated disabled pet adoption web pages/agencies till this came up
i won't tell your daughter though
I asked my daughter what she would name a cat with no legs if the first word was "Sir" and she said "Sir Stumps a Lot." So the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Just as a point of information . . . .
I baked with one cat in the house. Never been cat people, but we inherited him when our son went into the Navy. Needless to say, I spent a good 45 minutes to 1 hour cleaning BEFORE I started any baking. Poor little Scruffles has issues, so all I had to do was rattle a plastic bag and he would disappear for the better part of the day.
Now, we have 2 cats. During the day (and the night) they get to playing - - running, wrestling, knocking things off counters, chasing each other. There is absolutely no way to keep up with the cat hair. It flies through the air when they're not even around, and not even daily vacuuming and dusting seems to control it. I can't cook without wiping cat hair off the counters continually. I certainly can't bake at home anymore which is ok, it's just inconvenient.
That was my experience with a long-haired cat, but the short hair isn't as bad. I've always had cats and I think I'm lucky with the one I have now, because he doesn't seem to shed too much. I have a bigger problem with the human hair in the bathroom than I do with finding cat hair in the house ;/
I do not mean to be offensive, and this is just my opinion...and everyone else is entitled to theirs....but.....I don't think animals have any business in a kitchen where food is prepared and sold to customers.
In fact, I have friends with house pets and I won't eat anything that comes from their kitchens. I've seen their cats lying on their kitchen counters and even eating from pots and pans of the stove! The thought of hair in my food revolts me!!
As yourself this...if you advertised about your baking "prepared in a kitchen where cats/dogs live" would your customers care? If not, then there's no issue.
You keep them out of the food prep area, though, and clean before starting. The health department here is fine with that arrangement. I won't get a dog because it would be impossible to keep them out of the kitchen area based on how my house is set up, unless they were outside all the time.
If I had a friend who had cats all over the counters and eating out of pots on the stove, that's a different story. But I've also seen storefront bakeries with kitchens that were so filthy I wouldn't eat anything they made either, and there were no cats or dogs anywhere near them (as far as I know...rats, maybe, based on the level of filth.) So for me it's 6 of one, half dozen of another. Dirty can come from anywhere, with or without pets.
I see your point, though, @Jeff_Arnett . I'm just saying that based on my own experience, housepets are just one factor in a long list of factors that determine whether a kitchen is clean or not. The biggest factor would be the person who cleans the kitchen and does the cooking. ;)
And ugh, you reminded me of some friends that I had when I was a kid who would let their dachshund lick ice cream out of the bowl they were eating from. Their rationale was that "a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's butt." I never understood the logic of that but I guess it made sense to them somehow.
"The biggest factor would be the person who cleans the kitchen and does the cooking. ;)"
That is so true. Have you seen some of those hidden camera shows at restaurants? Ewwwwww
I promise you, there's a bakery here that stores their giant sacks of cake mix in the filthy employee bathroom, I'm not kidding. We were using their shop for a class on a weekend, and it was the dirtiest place I'd ever seen. Very busy bakery, too. I don't usually tell people bad things about places, but I tell people not to go there.
One of the guys in my decorating class at culinary school said the chef he was working for would pipe a little, then lick the tip to "clean" it. He said it was pipe, lick, pipe, lick, pipe, lick all day. That could have been the cleanest kitchen in the world for all I know, but it had a weak link!
Well, have you never been to a restaurant where there were no animals present and found a human hair in your food? Given the state of some people's cleanliness that could be worse than a dog or cat hair in your food. Having been a beautician in the past let me tell you I would rather find a dog or cat hair in my food rather than some humans I have come across!!! At least cats try to clean themselves, more so than some people I know!
I thought that the cottage law in Ohio prohibited indoor pets...
my pets are cute and healthy
Thank you for all your answers! I was definitely planning to keep the cat out of the kitchen while baking and decorating, training her off the counters (hopefully shell be a good girl and not do things while we are not at home lol), and cleaning like a madwoman before cooking/baking too!
And I agree that many homes or businesses are just not clean and up kept, if there are animals or not!
All you have to do is like I do and clean the kitchen like I am prepping for a surgical procedure! Never had a cat hair in my food yet!!!
debbie45628 -- ohio has two levels of home food production the home bakery and cottage food -- the more stringent level that allows hazardous foods says no pets in the home -- the less restricted level used to be no pets in the kitchen during production -- but it's not spelled out so cleanly now and i went looking since you mentioned it but cannot confirm this but that is how it used to be -- why i said, "last i knew..."
somebody from ohio could set it straight
Texas doesn't mention pets as far as I've been able to tell, but there's clean and then there's clean.
When we bought our restaurant, we spent the first 6 weeks deep cleaning one area at a time. Our health inspector comes every 3 months like clockwork. The first 3 times he came in, we actually got a "wow" out of him.
There's always room for improvement in any cleaning job.
maybe some other business man are preventing a good improvement to any cleaning job