Just Have To Vent & Hope I Did Not Screw Myself..long

Business By tdybear1978 Updated 1 Apr 2008 , 10:52am by tdybear1978

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tdybear1978 Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 1:03am
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I got that wonderful surprise visit from the health inspector today to check up on me. Everything was fine for the most part, she wrote up a few things that in my opinion were crazyiness but whatever and then as she was about to leave she passes by my display case and asks "are these just display or are these items for sale?" to which I reply they are for sale. So then she tells me that I can not have these things in my case without putting a handwashing sink in my front area icon_eek.gif what?! are you kidding me? So I asked her if some rules had changed because when I opened up 1 1/2 years ago I specifically asked that health inspector if I needed one since I had a plumber in doing all his stuff and she said that I did not because there was no food preparation going on up here - COOL. So then she says that different health inspectors may view the rules differently icon_confused.gif seriously, are kidding me? is that not the point of rules so this kind of crap could not happen? And then to top things off, this exact inspector has been to my shop 2 other times, why was it not a problem then? My problem is that if I had it done when I was under construction then it would have only cost me about $800 now it is going to cost me like $2,500 because they are going to have to cut thru multiple walls and into the ground to run water up there. So the more I thought about it the more upset I got about it so I called the supervisor and asked him some questions and he said that he is going to come to my place tomorrow and take a look at the situation. I guess I just don't think it is necessary because due to my regulations book (which I read about a 100 times today) yeah I have to have a sink anywhere near food prep. but the food has already been prepped and there is no direct skin/food contact, everything is picked up with bakery tissue. This and the fact that before I opened I had to submit my floor plan and it was approved as was my walk thrus before and after my opening and the three I have had since. icon_cry.gif Whewwww OK I am done, this just really bothered me. thanks for listening

18 replies
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Steffen74 Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 1:24am
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Sounds like you are in the right. I have no experience to offer any sound judgement, but from what you have said you have followed all the rules! Just a note to say good luck!!! thumbs_up.gif

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beachcakes Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 1:33am
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Wow! Good luck to you! I don't have a shop, but one of my relatives owns a deli, and I swear it depends on the mood of the inspector that day. And their rules seem to be open to their own interpretation.

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Solecito Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 1:39am
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First: Take a big deep breath! May be the supervisor can help you better. If not, have you though about changing the layout so your display may be closer to a sink? May be this changes wont be as costly as putting a sink.
Hope every thing gets better by tomorrow. Good luck!

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TheButterWench Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 1:50am
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you know, if they get it into their heads to ride you, you're in for the major renovations which suck big time.

Let's hope the SUPERVISOR will see things differently and please, please, please have the supervisor sign off on paper if you don't need the sink.

I wasn't able to install my Espresso machine because I had to sink in big money in renovations! lol

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sasporella Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 7:45am
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I just wanted to say i hope everything turns out ok for you. Good luck.

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JulieB Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 8:34am
post #7 of 19

Maybe somebody was just having a bad day. I hope it works out. Let us know.

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barbaranoel Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 8:46am
post #8 of 19

I feel for you. The Store I work for just went through a major (and I mean major, everything was gutted and redone) renovation and all the inspectors had to sign off on the plans in the beginning and multiple inspections through out and the day of our inspection a new lady shows up and then starts making them change all kinds of things! The 3 compartment sinks had to be pulled out from the wall 4 inches, the handsink was not close enough to the cake decorating area, etc... but she lets things go like the floor drain for the chicken sink is an "open" drain so chicken gootz (as I like to call it) sits there until someone scrubs the drain - ICK!!!!

I just don't get what they see as important!


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kansaslaura Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 9:43am
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I have NEVER heard of having a hand sink near a display case. Isn't that what the nice box of disposable gloves is for? I dealt for years with inspectors and I came to the conclusion their head would explode if they didn't toss at least one zinger your way.

What would pass for one, would not pass for another. That is plain and simple BS.

This is what I went through this summer:

I called the state (Kansas) and explained to them my DH wanted to put up a building for me behind the house and I had a few questions. The one that actually caused me to blurt out "You have got to be kidding me.. " was his answer to me on a plumbing question. (yea the BIG DOLLAR item)....

I told him it was not going to be open for retail traffic--what exactly did I need to meet regulations. He explained the sinks and then tossed in... I want you to put in a bathroom. WHAT?? I'm 10 feet from the house. Yes, I realize that, but I WANT and think it's a good idea. Umm.. I don't see it in the rules. It needs to be--what if it's raining and you need to use it. That's when I came ever so slightly unglued.

.... I can't believe they could force you to put in a handsink by the display case. You're handling baked products. If you were handling raw meat I could see it (BUT it would be stated in the regulations!!).. but baked goods??

I've got to believe a judge would look at the regulations and see you were passed by Inspector Doolittle to open in the first place and tell them to take a hike.

All this really smacks of power abuse.

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playingwithsugar Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 9:54am
post #10 of 19

Before I started baking more often, I worked for a friend who used to go to Brooklyn, NY, at midnight, and pick up cakes and breads, which she brought here to sell retail.

One day, the health inspector, who had been checking her place on a weekly basis (no reason why, just because he got off doing it), decided that she not only needed a sink in her stall at the farmer's market, but she needed a double sink!

No food prep there, either, and they used food-safe gloves for handling product.

It would have literally cost thousands of dollars, as she would have had to cut through a concrete floor, add the plumbing, then close the floor back up. Since it was not her building, she felt it would be in her best interest to just close up completely.

It's unfortunate that certain individuals in municipal government feel the need to be so unfriendly to small business. I think it is wise for you to have contacted the supervisor. I hope his visit is a proactive, productive one.

Keep us informed as to the outcome.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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nicolesplace Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 1:30pm
post #11 of 19

I wonder if the inspector was thinking that you physically cut the cakes & sell them per slice to customers. If so, I could see the need for a sink. I guess then it would be like a dessert bar. Maybe you need to make it clear that there is no "plating"happening near the display case.

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tdybear1978 Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 2:38pm
post #12 of 19

when she saw the items - there were cookies, cupcakes, creme horns and some iced cookies, she asked are these for sale and I said yes and then it was on. So I think that she understood that they were just single items, I mean there were no cakes or anything that would need to be sliced in there (I don't do that anyway, we don't sell by the slice). I don't know it just really rubbed me the wrong way. When he decides to show up and I am going to try and point out the fact that his dept. approved the floor plan and I have gone thru 5 "surprise" inspections in the last year and a half and all has been fine, so why now? I think that I am going to bring up the gloves thing too. Maybe that could work. I always see the donut shop people who put the gloves on to pick up the donuts and then take them off to take your money and then put them back on to go to the next customer. I just hate to rock the boat too much there is a lot of crap going on in our district with this new inspector, she kind of has that attitude of "I hold your business in my hands" right when she walks thru the door. A good friend of mine (who also owns the bakery that I started in) moved her shop last month and the 2 of them had quite a disagreement and my friend ended up kicking her out of her bakery and now she has been unable to open. The health dept. keeps finding things that need to be done or are not up to code. It is ridiculous, she now has a 3-comp. sink and 7 additional sinks in her place and it is only about 1000 square feet. THAT IS JUST INSANE. She said she is not going to be able to do anything except wash her hands around there. So I am really trying to tread lightly as I do not want to be seen as a "troublemaker" I don't want her picking on me too lol Hopefully the supervisor should be here today and I will find out what he is going to make me do. Thanks everyone

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tdybear1978 Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 8:05am
post #13 of 19

well, he did not show up today, guess he did not feel it was a big enough deal. Maybe I will hear from him next week.

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littlecake Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 8:50am
post #14 of 19

hopefully you won't hear from him at all....maybe he decided you were ok.

bless your heart how awful, i think they like putting stuff on the report to look like they are really doing a bang up job.....but gee if they cause people to close up shop...or move to another county...no more $$$$$ from the shop keepers to the health dept.

to bad they couldn't be taken to court...wonder what judge judy would say?

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tdybear1978 Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 12:31pm
post #15 of 19

well, I figure for now I am going to do nothing. She did not actually write it on my report, so until someone formally tells me that I have to have a sink there I am going to leave things as they are.

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TheButterWench Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 2:36pm
post #16 of 19

There you go, if it's not on paper it's not on record and you're so right in waiting.

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mezzaluna Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 6:07pm
post #17 of 19

Do you do monetary transactions in the front? Then I can see the need for a hand sink there.

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deb12g Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 2:34pm
post #18 of 19

If she didn't write it in her report, then it's not official. I'd ignore it until something else happens.

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tdybear1978 Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 10:52am
post #19 of 19

yes I do monetary transactions up there but there is also no food contact up there. I could understand if I was cutting and serving slices of cake or something but everything is covered and nothing has skin contact.

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