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Anyone ever get busted?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Has anyone actually been fined by their local health dept.? I have started selling cookie bouquets to people that have contacted me through friends and relatives. I'd like to put a few flyers up at our local party outlet, but have been warned not to. What does actually happen if you are caught by the health dept. If it's your first offense, do they go easy on you?
post #2 of 63
I'd call your local health department and ask about the consequences. Better to know what your risking in reality than to take risks based on what may or may not have happened to someone in a different state and with different regulations.

Maybe I've worked in the legal field too long, but I've seen what a litigious nation we've become. Not only are you risking getting in trouble with the health department, but you're risking getting sued as well from someone who simply wants an easy "payday".

Inform yourself about the realities and legalities of what you're doing - and make an informed decision. It's like driving without insurance... you probably WON'T get in an accident, but what if you do?

I'll get off my soapbox now. Sorry... icon_wink.gif
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #3 of 63
You would receive a fine and would be told you must stop immediately. It might also be published wherever your community publishes health dept. inspections. I know I saw one that mentioned a home baker who was fined for not having a license. That would be terrible for a person's business reputation.

I am new to cake decorating, but love to cook. I have been researching what I need to do to become an official caterer. That's actually what brought me to cake decorating ~ it looks like lots of fun and I would love to be able to eventually offer cakes along with catering services when I open. I plan to open the catering services within about a year, I will consider adding the cakes once I feel my skills are at that level.

Personally, I wouldn't risk being "caught".
Andrea
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Andrea
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post #4 of 63
At least two CC members in Texas have recently reported being contacted by their local health departments and been ordered to "cease and desist".
post #5 of 63
Thread Starter 
Lawsuits!! OMG I'm just worried about the health dept. Okay another question--what kind of lawsuits are we talking--food poisoning? I just wanted to sell these bouquets with my daughter to help her have a little spending money while in college. But from the response we've had so far, I think we could actually turn it into a profitable business. There's not a lot of competition--At least I don't think so--there's only one listed in the phone book and you know who that is. Of course I don't know how many other illegals are operating from their home. Like I stated earlier I don't mind going legal if I feel I could actually make a profit. I have the space in my basement and could easily convert a bedroom down there in to a small kitchen. But geez, now I have to worry about lawsuits too. I know just having a state license isn't your only protection against lawsuits. Do you legal beagles also purchase some type of insurance that will cover this? I'm assuming if customers are coming to your house/shop and were injured, your homeowners might cover that, but what about a customer claiming that got sick off of your product?
post #6 of 63
You would have to check the laws in your state about whether you could turn your basement or whatever into a legal kitchen. Once you become a business, your home owner's insurance will not cover anything to do with your business, even someone getting hurt in your shop. We have had the legal vs. illegal so many times on here and it usually turns into something not very nice. JMO

Diane
Lord, If you can't make me thin, please make my friends fat.
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Lord, If you can't make me thin, please make my friends fat.
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post #7 of 63
Yes, I've been "busted" by our city Health Department (via email!) I had to shut down immediately. It was not by a client but most likely a competitor (they apparently turned it a couple of us). If you do this from your home (and it depends on your state laws) if you advertise or run a website, you certainly are running the risk of getting caught. Lawsuits too... unless you are insured, you are exposed here as well.

After much research and efforts, I have found a commercial kitchen to rent. The facility is in compliance w/ state laws and I have recently been Health Certified by the state (required in Texas), registered with the county clerks office and have obtained insurance (also required). I will officially be "legitimate" May 1st! (I did call my local health inspector back to thank him for his consideration!)
post #8 of 63
Thread Starter 
Just how costly is the insurance?
post #9 of 63
Once you are legal, you can get insurance. I have a catering/baking operation and 2 million liability for 500 a year.
Cake. So many flavors, so little time.
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Cake. So many flavors, so little time.
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post #10 of 63
Can you tell me where you found insurance? I'm starting to research that for my catering business that I'm planning on opening within a year. You can just pm me the info. Thanks!

Andrea
Andrea
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Andrea
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post #11 of 63
My insurance company told me that if I was running a cake business out of my home, that my regular insurance would be null and void if anything happened. You have to have special insurance (at least in my state/insurance company)
It's not how good you are, but how well you can fix your mistakes.
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It's not how good you are, but how well you can fix your mistakes.
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post #12 of 63
I have $1,000,000 of liability insurance, and am paying $300/year. It's through American Family.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbyallison

Yes, I've been "busted" by our city Health Department (via email!) I had to shut down immediately. It was not by a client but most likely a competitor (they apparently turned it a couple of us). If you do this from your home (and it depends on your state laws) if you advertise or run a website, you certainly are running the risk of getting caught. Lawsuits too... unless you are insured, you are exposed here as well.

After much research and efforts, I have found a commercial kitchen to rent. The facility is in compliance w/ state laws and I have recently been Health Certified by the state (required in Texas), registered with the county clerks office and have obtained insurance (also required). I will officially be "legitimate" May 1st! (I did call my local health inspector back to thank him for his consideration!)



Allison I am so happy for you, glad everything worked out.
post #14 of 63
In Ky you cannot legally cook from your home kitchen. That is of course unless you are a farmer. For them they require no licencing.
Please don't fool yourself however, having a licence does not protect you from a lawsuit. It is just one less fine that you would be subjected to.
The health dept. only passes your kitchen on the day they pass inspection. They do not in any way protect you from lawsuits either through food poisoning or accidents.
Good luck
post #15 of 63
What about if someone keeps telling people to order cakes from me. I don't tell anyone that I make cakes but a friend at work is always telling people to order from me. Whenever that happens, I even need to buy the pans that I need!
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