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Florida Cottage Food Act Update - Page 2

post #16 of 222
Barbara, you are doing great work in Florida. I will support you any way I can. Keep it up!
post #17 of 222
Thread Starter 
Right I agree with you sorry I didn't go into great detail and depth of the laws and regulations. There is one thing all of you are forgetting. All the ingredients that we use are purchased from businesses that are regulated by the Dept of Health, FDA, Dept of Agriculture. So they are safe for the cosumer. Is everyones kitchen clean, hmmm are all the restaurants you eat in clean and follow the health rules?

When I talked about changing the laws to accommedate a home business I meant we do not need a 3 compartment sink, separate sink for our hand washing, separate entrance. Our dishwasher sanitize dishes a whole lot better than a 3 compartment sink. I have two bathrooms, I have two doors. If your going to quote what I say make sure you copy the complete quote. You failed to include this part:

"This law will require rules and regulations, inspections, licensing insurance etc that will need to be met. The only difference is they will be scaled down for a mini business." If we have to take a food management class than that is what we need to do. What the state implements and requires is what will have to be done to get a license and no one knows what they will implement when the law passes.

Those of you who opened a full blown bakery and are having a hard time keeping the business going isn't my fault. Nor does it have anything to do with the Cottage Food Act. Starting a business is a risk everyone knows that. Just because we won't be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars doesn't make us illegal, unsafe, or a threat to anyone. We will be just doing it on a smaller basis and YES, we will have rules and laws to follow just like you do no matter if I sell one cupcake, 5 cakes or 100 baked goods a day . If anyone thinks just because we make cakes in our homes we sell them cheap think again, we do the same work as you do so why would we short sell our work? Home bakers take pride in our work too and I take pride in the cleanliness of my home as well.
post #18 of 222
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support Kelleym. Barb
post #19 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrazyAboutCake

"This law will require rules and regulations, inspections, licensing insurance etc that will need to be met. The only difference is they will be scaled down for a mini business." If we have to take a food management class than that is what we need to do. What the state implements and requires is what will have to be done to get a license and no one knows what they will implement when the law passes.


Agreed, the current framework for food safety laws in most states is probably overkill for most small businesses. Implementing this type of "scaled down" law with an upper limit on annual income would help home-based food service businesses get started, while still providing some protection for businesses that choose to get a full-fledged commercial kitchen.

Of course, that's assuming the law actually requires some kind of inspection...IIRC some states such as OH do not require inspection, that just doesn't make sense to me.
post #20 of 222
Thank you Barbara!!!
post #21 of 222
Barbara, I just like to bake cakes .... and can the people who own a bakery tell me they never made a cake from home? I dont think you take wilton classes then open a bakery the next day lol... Baking is so enjoyable but when I read these forums it makes me scared to even make a cake.....
post #22 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystal18_corpus

Barbara, I just like to bake cakes .... and can the people who own a bakery tell me they never made a cake from home? I dont think you take wilton classes then open a bakery the next day lol..


There is absolutely nothing wrong with practicing baking and decorating cakes (and cake dummies) at home, the legal issues start when you try to sell those cakes without having an inspected kitchen.

Many people here on CC have spent time making cakes at home and donating them without accepting any form of compensation, that's just one of the startup costs of a legit business. And to be honest, the costs of those cakes pales in comparison with the capital required to set up a full-fledged retail storefront.

BTW you don't even need a retail storefront to operate a legal business, it is common for smaller businesses to operate out of a rented commercial kitchen without a retail shop.
post #23 of 222
Why do I need a three compartment sink and someone else doesn't? What does scaled down have to do with food safety? I don't get the watered-down version for one business and full requirements for another. I am a home-based bakery and I am glad my state allows it (separate kitchen). In my area, I automatically qualify for FDA approval (the requirements are so high), and even though it was incredibly expensive, every single requirement is valid for food safety. I don't normally follow the different state debates, but in working with Maryland, they take their requirements seriously and spend the time to educate you on the "whys". In West Virginia (my county), you can't even be a one-time vendor at a fair without a food safety course, running water, sanitizer, etc. I agree with all of these laws. I happened to sit in the food safety class with about fifty new vendors for a craft fair. The questions they asked were so elementary (and down right stupid), you could tell they didn't have a clue. When those of us who owned businesses walked out (I went with my daughter, and a few restaurants were busted for some employees not having the food safety course, so plenty of seasoned people), we all said that we would never eat at that fair based on the lack of understanding in that class.

When you go through the full licensing process, the level of knowledge is much higher because you live it. For example, a three basin sink with three different pipes that drop water in a basin...why... because we have all experienced our sinks backing up on the opposite side with a big rush of water. I have bartended and did not know why the sink water fell into a drain in the floor. NOW I KNOW.

I am all for home-based baking, but there are many people in every community that have had to follow the requirements (and spent the money to do it). The home baker should have the same requirements. Some states have the license for non-perishible baked goods, and I agree that the license should reflect those changes.
post #24 of 222
Barbara thanks for all you do. I support you.
post #25 of 222
Barbara,

Bakery here, who paid the licenses, has the insurance, rents the kitchen monthly, spends on advertising, and I fully support you. I will be writing my letter. Thank you!
post #26 of 222
Well it looks like I am the bad guy here just because I am trying to run a legitimate business, albeit a very small one. That's fine.

I have a couple of points to mention. I went back and read the letter Barbara received and in it the point of law mentioned is as stated:

"In accordance with section 500.033, F.S., the Florida Food Safety and Food Defense Advisory Council shall assess the food safety requirements for food permits that govern small farm facilities permitted as food establishments. The council will complete the assessment and report its finding to the Commissioner of Agriculture by December 1, 2010. The department shall submit recommendations to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31, 2010, focusing on the most efficient and effective ways to ensure food safety while minimizing the cost to small farmers. The report is due to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31, 2010.

The key words, IMHO, are "small farm facilities". I don't see how this relates to someone who does not live on a farm.

Secondly, we use a dishwasher in our bakery to sanitize/sterilize. We also have a 3 compartment but I agree, it is not the choice way to sanitize. I hate the aftertaste of quats on dishes and it is near impossible to keep fresh. So we have a commercial grade dishwasher the size of a home unit. If that machine does not reach 180 degrees during its cycle, we get written up. We have test strips that we use regularly to make sure it is working correctly. I would bet that our inspector would not pass a home dishwasher in an inspection, no matter how much we want to believe it works as well. We have a wonderful dishwasher at home but I would not put it up against the one in the bakery in a contest of efficiency.

Yes, I was a home baker for years although I did not sell my cakes. It started with my kids' birthdays. I thought I knew a lot but let me tell you, I have learned more in the last year about what I did not know. Being in the business is just like that.

Going back to the farm thing. Here in Florida fireworks are illegal but every 4th of July and New Years the place is like being in a war zone. The loophole is that when someone buys fireworks, they sign a paper that says they promise to ONLY use the fireworks for agricultural applications. Yeah right. There is no farm land around here for miles but these yahoos get away with it.

I'm sure Barbara is honest and has good intentions, but there are other people out there who will do what they can to find the loopholes, heck, they do it now. Look at craigslist and you'll find people selling cakes now even though it is illegal.

And you are correct in that not all facilities follow the rules either. But that is not reason to undermine those of us who have made the effort and investment to build a legitimate business.
post #27 of 222
Coming from a Michigander...

Go Florida! I hope you soon will be able to do what we can here in MI.

Also:

It is ignorant to assume that you are untaught in Food Safetly simply because you're baking from home. Homebaking does not AUTOMATICALLY equal an inferior/cheap/dirty/unsafe product. I've been in the commercial bakery (not mine, but an old employer) and I've been in my home. I chose HOME, and I'm glad I am able to do so.

Let the customer chose where they want to go for their product. If you spend 1,000 a month in advertising, and have a GREAT product, you have nothing to fear from the passing of this bill.
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
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It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
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post #28 of 222
Quote:
Quote:

Well it looks like I am the bad guy here just because I am trying to run a legitimate business, albeit a very small one.



Nellical, you are not the bad guy, not at all. You are the victim. You are the victim of government policies that make it TOO HARD to start a business. Barbara and the others in Florida are trying to make the law more open and fair, so that you can start small from your home without having to risk your retirement savings for it to be a legal venture. I personally feel that it's tragic that you had to do that.

Food safety is very important, but the argument that food that comes from home kitchens cannot be safe is just a straw man. 80% of all foodborne illness originates in commercial facilities (this is by the testimony of a Texas Health Dept employee). Safe food handling practices boil down to the responsibility of the baker.

And besides, if home made food were such a hazard, every hospital in the country would have waiting lines around the block, of people who got sick from eating at home that day. And the day before. And the day before. And the day before.

I'm getting ready to take some home made cookies and fudge down to the Texas Capitol. Hope our lawmakers like living on the edge. icon_wink.gif
post #29 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Quote:

Well it looks like I am the bad guy here just because I am trying to run a legitimate business, albeit a very small one.



Nellical, you are not the bad guy, not at all. You are the victim. You are the victim of government policies that make it TOO HARD to start a business. Barbara and the others in Florida are trying to make the law more open and fair, so that you can start small from your home without having to risk your retirement savings for it to be a legal venture. I personally feel that it's tragic that you had to do that.



To borrow a quote from Tom Hanks in a League of Their Own "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great".

Seriously no one is a victim. No one has suffered a serious injury or has been deceived or cheated. That the laws may be too stringent does not mean you are victim of over regulation. And frankly why should it be "easy" to open a cake baking business?

I just found out that where I live anyone can call themselves an electrician without being required to be liscenced or have any training. You really want someone coming in and working on your electrical without any training or liscencing? That someone wants to go into business doing electrical work because they have tinkered from their home is not reassuring.

Are liscences a guarantee of quality work? Of course not, but then again I would rather eat in establishments that have been inspected (even after having watched Kitchen Nightmares) than to eat in restuarants in an environment where there was little concern over food safety.

There are plenty of successful small businesses that sell all levels of baked goods. That not everyone is able to meet the regulations who wants does not mean they should be able to or its too hard. If person cannot make the investment that is unfortunate but simply because they want to sell cakes does not mean they should be able to. You could use this same claim to undermine the regulations on any industry.

Save the victomology rhetoric. There are legitimate positions for and against the change in law in Florida but no one is a victim simply because they a desire to bake out of their home. There is a cottage law where I am, I cannot afford to make the changes I need to my kitchen to make it legal, to bake out of home, I am not a victim. It is what it is. That people want to change the law in Florida is understandable but they are not victims.
post #30 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Quote:

Well it looks like I am the bad guy here just because I am trying to run a legitimate business, albeit a very small one.



Nellical, you are not the bad guy, not at all. You are the victim. You are the victim of government policies that make it TOO HARD to start a business. Barbara and the others in Florida are trying to make the law more open and fair, so that you can start small from your home without having to risk your retirement savings for it to be a legal venture. I personally feel that it's tragic that you had to do that.

Food safety is very important, but the argument that food that comes from home kitchens cannot be safe is just a straw man. 80% of all foodborne illness originates in commercial facilities (this is by the testimony of a Texas Health Dept employee). Safe food handling practices boil down to the responsibility of the baker.

And besides, if home made food were such a hazard, every hospital in the country would have waiting lines around the block, of people who got sick from eating at home that day. And the day before. And the day before. And the day before.

I'm getting ready to take some home made cookies and fudge down to the Texas Capitol. Hope our lawmakers like living on the edge. icon_wink.gif



Exactly some of the same points I was about to write! Great wording!

Thanks Barbara for keeping us informed! I'll be writing, emailing and calling to try to help us all out! Keep up the great work!
"People will understand that getting a piece of the cake is better than not getting any cake at all." - Not sure who says it, but I have to agree!
Visit my cake club: http://sagnfl.blogspot.com/
Visit my blog: http://frostedfantasies.blogspot.com/
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"People will understand that getting a piece of the cake is better than not getting any cake at all." - Not sure who says it, but I have to agree!
Visit my cake club: http://sagnfl.blogspot.com/
Visit my blog: http://frostedfantasies.blogspot.com/
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