Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Problems Working for Bakeries
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Problems Working for Bakeries - Page 4

post #46 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by remnant3333 View Post

Howsweet,  WOW!!  A bakery that sells food that is growing mold? It is a wonder that they have not been shut down yet. It is pretty gross that they never cleaned the place.  Don't they have health food inspectors that come around and check out these bakeries? What state was this bakery in? You have to keep your kitchen spotless and clean up as you go otherwise you are feeding the roaches and they would be breeding like crazy. Yuck!!!

 

I remember my husband telling me about Madison Avenue in NY where he used to deliver to these fancy resturants and he told me he would go down into the basement of the restaurant and said there would be rats that were huge running around the restaurant and roaches like nobody's business running around. This was about 30 years or so ago when he lived in NY. I guess that is why my husband and I do not eat out hardly ever.   


I know it's so bizarre that it sounds like I'm making it up. I should explain that it was not a mom and pop bakery, but a national chain grocery store bakery department in a high end neighborhood in Houston.  And yes, they had "inspections". I never quite understood it, but it seemed like they paid a private company to do the health inspections. All the inspectors cared about was that there was nothing on the floor.  They chatted with the bakery manager, but didn't open a drawer or pull anything out.

 

And if anyone is interested, the bakery manager told me that the decorated cakes portion of the bakery operated at a loss, but doing so kept people in the store buying other bakery items like breads, cookies, pastries. It was necessary to sell cakes to keep the bakeries out of business. That why you pretty much never see a a strip center with a bakery and a grocery store. The grocery store sees that it's in the lease. They actively do everything they can to keep bakeries from being in existence. That's true with florist shops, too. There used to be florists and bakeries everywhere, like dry cleaners. but that's a thing of the past. Even though grocery stores produce an inferior product.

post #47 of 74
I think it's bizarre that none of the employees working in that environment reported the store to the health department and continued serving customers food that was prepared in a potentially unsafe environment.
post #48 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

I think it's bizarre that none of the employees working in that environment reported the store to the health department and continued serving customers food that was prepared in a potentially unsafe environment.

They get fired, Jason, and they probably also get blacklisted locally.

 

It's only the customers who can safely report infestations.  THAT is what gets the full inspection that finds the droppings and other evidence, and causes the fines and closures for cleaning.

post #49 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene View Post

They get fired, Jason, and they probably also get blacklisted locally.
That's what anonymous complaints are for.

There are also laws that protect whistleblowers, being fired in retaliation could lead to a potentially profitable wrongful termination settlement, especially if there is a union involved.
post #50 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

,,,There are also laws that protect whistleblowers, being fired in retaliation could lead to a potentially profitable wrongful termination settlement, especially if there is a union involved.

 

 

yes there are and all it costs you is most of your life.

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
post #51 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post


yes there are and all it costs you is most of your life.
I agree that being a whistleblower would make it more difficult to get a job, but only for bakeries that have unsafe work environments and are worried about being turned in (in which case you wouldn't want to work there anyway). If a bakery operates the right way they should empathize with the whistleblower.

I'm certainly not discounting the difficulty of the decision (especially when you depend on the income from the unsafe job), but it's often the case that the right thing to do is not easy.
post #52 of 74

Looking back, I realize you are absolutely right -- I should have "blown the whistle".  I was in a  terrible place at the time - husband of 20 years leaving me for another woman,  traumatized by that working environment,  not sure how i was going to pay my bills, afraid I was going to lose my home, trying to figure out how I was going to care for my mom with Alzheimer's, etc. I don't think it even occurred to me to report it which tells you what a state I was in.

 

No one else in the department cared. The people I worked with were the bottom dregs of society. Two of the women used to visit to the prison in Huntville trolling for men. Who looks for a boyfriend who's incarcerated?

 

Today, I'd report them in a New York minute. One lasting effect is I will never, ever, ever buy anything in any dept of a grocery store (bakery, fruit, or deli) that wasn't pre-packaged before it got to the store.

post #53 of 74

This is so true!  When we were looking for a space, many of the malls with grocery store anchors would not allow bakeries.  Even if you just did cakes.  Its really sad.

 

As far as dirt and mold and roaches...that is REALLY gross!  Where is the health department??  Don't they stop by and check these places out?  If worked at a place that had mold, I would call in an anoymous complaint.  you don't have to give your name, and it would protect the public.

Gotta have more cowbell!
Reply
Gotta have more cowbell!
Reply
post #54 of 74
When I first worked in fast food 17 years ago, we would take the outer part off the fountain every single night and wash and sanitize them. I quit and came back 6 months later and they weren't doing that anymore. Gross. It seems like all the jobs I had in fast food, they just got worse and worse over the years. I swear I worked at every fast food restaurant in my small town, twice! First time around and second were totally different cleaning practices. Never for the better, either. Of course.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #55 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms View Post

This is so true!  When we were looking for a space, many of the malls with grocery store anchors would not allow bakeries.  Even if you just did cakes.  Its really sad.

 

As far as dirt and mold and roaches...that is REALLY gross!  Where is the health department??  Don't they stop by and check these places out?  If worked at a place that had mold, I would call in an anoymous complaint.  you don't have to give your name, and it would protect the public.


No one would have given the customers any food with visible mold and they all knew I was the only one who cared.  They would have assumed it was me. Not that I would have been the least bit bothered if they fired me. That wasn't the reason I didn't report them.  I think I covered why reporting them was the last thing on my mind at the time. And that they had a private inspector who didn't really look at anything. They also knew when he was coming - not the time and day, but that it would happen, say, toward the end of a given week.

 

As to where is the health department -- food safety has a lot more to do with the personal integrity of the management of a food establishment than it does the health department. People like to think the health department is completely protecting them, but really, if they saw what goes on behind the scenes at a lot of places, they might prefer to eat at home. Also there are things the health department can't see. For example, when we made a cake with strawberries, they went directly on or in  the cake without being washed. There was no colander, no proper place to wash them and they didn't want us to spend time doing it.

post #56 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post


No one would have given the customers any food with visible mold and they all knew I was the only one who cared.  They would have assumed it was me. Not that I would have been the least bit bothered if they fired me. That wasn't the reason I didn't report them.  I think I covered why reporting them was the last thing on my mind at the time. And that they had a private inspector who didn't really look at anything. They also knew when he was coming - not the time and day, but that it would happen, say, toward the end of a given week.

 

As to where is the health department -- food safety has a lot more to do with the personal integrity of the management of a food establishment than it does the health department. People like to think the health department is completely protecting them, but really, if they saw what goes on behind the scenes at a lot of places, they might prefer to eat at home. Also there are things the health department can't see. For example, when we made a cake with strawberries, they went directly on or in  the cake without being washed. There was no colander, no proper place to wash them and they didn't want us to spend time doing it.

 

 

^^^this^^^

 

yes--food safety is dependent on the integrity of the management and their ability to enthuse their staff and enforce consequences

 

who really can believe that a handful of inspectors can adequately police thousands of workers and hundreds of establishments that serve millions of drinks daily plus all the rest

 

yes, strawberry and fruit washing and when they put the tasting spoon back in the ganache, etc. etc.

 

and whistle blowing is a curse both ways unfortunately--of course people know who does it--the repercussions are vast

 

i say it this way, 'you cannot create your own leadership' it's either there for you with the integrity in place or it's not--making a phone call and busting chops does not create leadership with integrity

 

yes safety is vitally important and in first aid the first thing is to make sure the first responder is not in harm's way in order to render aid

 

"life's fulla tough choices init" ursula in the little mermaid

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
post #57 of 74

When my dh and I opened our restaurant we had an initial inspection from the HD. The inspector was telling us what was allowed and what wasn't, and I was sitting there with my head spinning.  One thing he told us was that as long as you were going to cook something, you could pick it up off the floor and not worry about it.  Really?  Gag.

 

The HD is a lot more worried about temperatures than any cleanliness issues. 

post #58 of 74

JGifford posted:

One thing he told us was that as long as you were going to cook something, you could pick it up off the floor and not worry about it.  Really?  Gag.

____________________________________________________________

 

JGifford, That is unreal that an inspector would tell you that you could pick stuff off of the floor and not worry about it!!! I think I am in shock!!!  What state do you live in? That inspector ought to be fired!!! Just my opinion!!! That is so nasty and gross!!! Hey, Jason, what do you think about the inspector saying that?

post #59 of 74
Truthfully, it probably is fine to still eat it after it has been on the floor, if you are still going to cook it. Vegetables are grown right in the ground icon_wink.gif we just rinse them with water before eating raw, or before cooking. Actually, I am WAY more grossed out by the thought of eating dirty berries than properly cooked food that touched the floor while it was raw. I assume it would be rinsed first, and proper hair restraints are being used...
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #60 of 74
Given that health inspectors are tasked with ensuring all food service businesses maintain at least a minimal level of food safety (which is pretty much all they can do in most areas at current funding levels without raising taxes/fees), I don't see an issue from a safety perspective if you pick up food from the floor and cook it, since the cooking process will kill any bacteria. IMO food that has touched the floor should be thrown out, but that decision is based on food quality (which can be subjective for different businesses), not safety.

Even if an inspector thought it was not acceptable to cook food that touched the floor, it would be impossible to enforce this unless someone happened to do it while the inspector was there.

Making sure fridge and freezer temperatures are in compliance is probably one of the most important points of the inspection. It was also a violation to store anything directly on the floor.
Edited by jason_kraft - 1/24/13 at 12:26pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating Business
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Problems Working for Bakeries