After a couple of years of baking cakes for friends and family (for free), I've begun baking cupcakes for local charity events...I'm hoping I'm still in the clear since these cupcakes are not sold - they are given away - and I make no money whatsoever. (Cupcakes are given away to those who donate to the charity.)
But, I am not slowly moving towards turning this into a business, and I am just in WAY over my head here...
First, I know the Dept of Agriculture is the one in charge here, but where can I find this illusive information to "request a packet" explaining what I'll need to do before inspection?
Second, is it just the State Department of Agriculture I need to worry about or are there county departments & laws somewhere too?
Next, ....well, I have cats. Everything I'm reading says that they need to be kept separate from where I bake & store things. That's easy enough when I'm baking and storing because we have a finished basement, and I can keep them down there... but do they have to be out of my kitchen ALL the time or only when products are being made and stored? I'm afraid this might completely dash my plans as I have an open concept home, and I can't keep them out of the kitchen 100% without keeping them out of the entire main level of the home.
That's really my biggest obstacle there... the cats.
Any help would be much appreciated...