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Calling all FLORIDA home bakers - Lets get the law changed! - Page 3

post #31 of 238
Do we have any kind of idea what info should be presented to our reps? I think if we all give much the same line, we won't all get caught up in trying to answer their questions, perhaps all in different ways. Like what is it do we really want? Do we have ideas about what kind of law we really want. Guess what I am saying is should some of us get offline, see what info we need, so we can give folks who want to help any easy way to proceed?? Am I making sense?? I know we have lots of time, so lets try and get organize from the get go??

Here is the link to the Indiana thread, I have not read it all, but am going to do that now. There seems to be alot of info there:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-624331-.html

Someone into taking the lead on this?? I can help, but am not in FL all the time.
post #32 of 238
I didn't have time to read all the posts, but let me know what to do and I'll do. Thanks for getting the ball rolling!
post #33 of 238
Thread Starter 
In between laundry, dinner, dishes, playing with my 2 yo and working on a schedule for my upcoming cake - I have read the letter that Texas sent out (I need to modify it because we don't have a bill ready yet or a sponsor), I have watched the public hearing (wow that was long and really some stupid questions, but gives us things to address), and am now reading the 26 page that started the Texas saga.

Before writing to your rep - I would really love to see if we can find a sponsor for the bill. Let me finish reading this thread and we will see where we need to go from there - we need A LOT of bakers support for this to even get off the ground.

Seems like we have a great start for only 6 or 7 hours!!! Keep it up ladies - email your friends/family and anyone you know who is a baker just to give them a heads up!!
post #34 of 238
Thread Starter 
Ok, only into a page or 2 of this thread (from Texas) and found a great letter that Kelley wrote - please take this letter, modify it! And send it on -

Can someone please find the code section that applies to florida???

Dear ___________:

I am writing about an issue that is very important to me. I am a cake decorator and I take pride in the cakes I make (attach some pictures of your home-prepared cakes). I have invested time and money in learning my craft. What you may not know, is that in Texas it is illegal to sell a cake made in a residential kitchen.

Most people are not aware of this law. It is the Texas Administrative Code, Food Establishment Rules, Rule §--------- which states Private homes and living or sleeping quarters, use prohibition. A private home, a room used as living or sleeping quarters, or an area directly opening into a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting food establishment operations.

This law is in place to protect the public from unsafe foods. However, cake and other baked goods such as cookies, pies and brownies are considered low-risk for spoilage and contamination due to their high sugar content. There are at least 8 other states that have mechanisms in place for allowing bakers and cake decorators to sell foods made in residential kitchen, including:

Iowa http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM1294.pdf

Massachusetts
http://www.mass.gov/agr/market.....itchen.htm

North Carolina http://www.agr.state.nc.us/fooddrug/homebiz.htm

Ohio http://www.ohioagriculture.gov/pubs/divs/food/food-licensing.stm

Oregon http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/FSD/docs/pdf/pub_dk.pdf

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (717) 787-4737
Tennessee http://www.state.tn.us/agriculture/regulate/permits/permit4.html

Virginia Department of Agriculture (804) 786-3520

I currently have a food purveyors permit and rent a licensed kitchen at a rate of $10/hour. If it takes me 3 hours to bake and decorate a birthday cake that I will sell for $50, and my ingredients cost $10, my hourly wage to myself ends up being about $3/hr. I have never had a single customer ask me if I have a license or I bake from home. In fact, most assume that I do bake from my home. They consider this a benefit. The word homemade conveys quality. The words prepared in a licensed commercial kitchen do not have the same effect! Everyone eats foods made in residential kitchens every day. There are bake sales at schools and churches, parents sending cupcakes to schools for their childs birthdays, people bake cookies and bring them into the office. There is nothing to fear from these items.

I would like to request a change in the law. Turn the regulation of home or cottage bakeries over to the Department of Agriculture, as other states have done. Inspect our homes and charge an annual inspection fee. There are many safety regulations that can be put in place to serve the public good while allowing hundreds or even thousands of home bakers to legally provide a service to the community while earning extra money for their families. There are many people out there who sell cakes and other food items from their homes already wouldnt it be safer to have a way to regulate this already-existing industry?

I briefly tried using the kitchen of a legal, licensed restaurant. It was the dirtiest place I have ever worked. But it is legal to sell food prepared there. Somewhere along the way, in our effort to protect the public, we have gone too far. Homemade cakes are not a public health threat. Regulating these home businesses would serve the public good.

Thank you very much for your time.

Name
Address
Phone #
Email
Web site
post #35 of 238
I'm up here in Fernandina Beach, just north of Jacksonville, and you can count me in for helping to get the Florida laws changed.

My email is rllmommy@bellsouth.net. Please keep me in the loop because I'm a stay-at-home mom who would love to sell my cakes.

I've got to run to a neighborhood meeting, but I'll hop online later to read the rest of the posts.
Mommy to my sweet Ryan & Charlie
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Mommy to my sweet Ryan & Charlie
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post #36 of 238
Thread Starter 
Here is another one that I found that Kelley wrote (can I please just give her a HUGE shout out right now!! SHE ROCKS!!)

PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHANGE IT AND INLUDE A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF YOUR BAKING AND THE CORRECT LAW LANGUAGE FOR OUR STATE (I'm still hoping that someone can find that for me).....

January 10, 2009



Representative Dan Gattis
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768

Dear Representative Gattis:

In 2007 I wrote to you regarding an issue that is very important to me the enacting of a Cottage Foods Act to legalize the sale of home baked cakes and cookies. I am writing again to ask you to sponsor a bill that would allow Texans to sell non-hazardous baked goods prepared in residential kitchens.

In Texas it is illegal to sell a cake made in a home kitchen. Most people are not aware of this law. It is the Texas Administrative Code, Food Establishment Rules, Rule §229.167 (E)(10) which states Private homes and living or sleeping quarters, use prohibition. A private home, a room used as living or sleeping quarters, or an area directly opening into a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting food establishment operations.

This law is in place to protect the public from unsafe foods. However, cakes and other baked goods such as cookies, pies and brownies are considered low-risk for spoilage and contamination due to their high sugar content. There are at least 9 other states that have mechanisms in place for allowing bakers and cake decorators to sell non-hazardous foods made in residential kitchen, including:

Iowa
http://www.extension.iastate.e.....PM1294.pdf
Massachusetts
http://www.mass.gov/agr/market.....itchen.htm
North Carolina
http://www.agr.state.nc.us/fooddrug/homebiz.htm
Ohio
http://www.ohioagriculture.gov.....ensing.stm
Oregon
http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/FSD/docs/pdf/pub_dk.pdf
Pennsylvania
Department of Agriculture (717) 787-4737
Tennessee
http://www.state.tn.us/agricul.....rmit4.html
Utah (as of 200icon_cool.gif
http://ag.utah.gov/regsvcs/Cot.....Letter.pdf
Virginia
Department of Agriculture (804) 786-3520

A quick search for cake on Craigslist already shows many people advertising cake businesses run from their homes. With the economy faltering and people looking for ways to earn extra income, more will naturally turn to selling home-baked goods, unaware of the legal ramifications. Because this activity is illegal in Texas, these people cannot obtain business liability insurance to protect themselves financially. Should they be sued, they could potentially lose everything, including their homes. It would serve the public interest to regulate this already-existing industry, and de-criminalize the act of selling low risk food prepared in a residential kitchen.

In Maryland, Delegate Mary Ann Love is currently bringing a bill to committee to create a cottage foods act. Would you consider doing the same? I would be glad to meet with you to discuss this further. I also have colleagues and contacts throughout the state of Texas who fervently hope the law will be changed, and they would also be glad to join our meeting.

America and indeed Texas were founded on the ideals of freedom and entrepreneurialism. Our founding fathers surely never envisioned a country where it would be illegal for a woman to sell a cake made in her own kitchen. I humbly ask for your help in this matter.

Thank you sincerely,

name
address
website
email
phone
post #37 of 238
Hi Girls:
Please if anyone have a Form to fill send it to me. I'm not goog writing in english, so please help me. I want to be part of this revolutionary thing. Lol. Thanks in advance.
ALL THE GLORY TO GOD!!!
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ALL THE GLORY TO GOD!!!
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post #38 of 238
As far as I can see the code we are trying to change is Florida Statute 500, Food and Drug Administration Food Code as adopted in Rule 5K-4, and all of 5K-4 Florida Administrative Code, (Poultry 5K-5, Eggs 5K-6 and Water Vending Machines 5K-9). Here is a link to the site (In case you would like to read all 212 pages of the code) icon_surprised.gif There is a lot of info there. It also states in various degrees that you are NOT allowed to prepare food in your home for public consumption. The letters are quite good, will just need a tweak for our state. Thanks.

Edited to put in the link DUH

http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/fs/index.html
post #39 of 238
I'm in also. just tell me what to do to help! I'm in South florida ( ft lauderdale area).
Life is short, eat dessert!
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Life is short, eat dessert!
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post #40 of 238
I'm in Okeechobee, Keep the info coming. I would love to help see this go through.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6
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Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6
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post #41 of 238
First of all, you may want to consider a change in position regarding commercial cake businesses, if you want the support of those business owners in this endeavor. A majority of us keep extremely clean, safe kitchens. During my recent inspection, I had zero deficiences, and my inspector stated that I was extremely low risk. I think it unfair to lump all commecial kitchens into one. The problems are normally with large restaurants that deal with a variety of foods, especially meats and shellfish...cross contamination.

I recommend changing the reference to the Department of Agriculture in the sample letter. The Department of Agriculture already oversees all cake businesses in Florida, including licensed home cake businesses. The problem I see with using the sample letter is that it is already legal to operate a cake business out of your home in Florida. The only stipulation is the kitchen area must be separate from the living space and have a separate entrance. To get a politican's attention, you'll need to touch on why it should be legal to bake in your home without it being separate from your living space. Otherwise the response may be that the State already has the recommended changes in place. You'll have to expand the reasons such as why you think there are better food safety and sanitation practices in a residental kitchen versus a licensed kitchen. How there is a lower risk of spread of illness, etc.

Good luck in your pursuit! Maybe the law will be changed by the time my lease is up in two years. It would be nice to make the transition from paying a monthly lease to working out of the home without making major renovations to my house. icon_lol.gif
post #42 of 238
Thread Starter 
Ok, I finally finished reading all 24 pages from the first Texas thread and it took them over 2 years to get to a bill and they are now having problems actually getting that bill heard - can we all just say a prayer or cheer for them and hope that they get this passed as they so justly deserve!

Second, I have gotten the numbers and addresses of my Legislator, Senator and Congressman - I suggest you do the same so that you know where to send your letters and the phone numbers to call.

Third - I am currently working on revising the letter posted earlier so that it applies to Florida - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU LINEDANCER for finding that code!!! I will post my letter in a little bit.

What I think everyone needs to do is find your local reps and write your letter, then email/fax and/or mail it out tomorrow if possible.

In the meantime - if anyone has a personal contact that can sponsor this bill that would be FANTASTIC!!!
post #43 of 238
Thread Starter 
MCC - the law that currently exists does not support a home bakery - having your bakery/kitchen completely seperate from your home makes it a commercial kitchen, not a home/residential kitchen.

It is not feasable for most of us to do that, even adding a kitchen in my garage would not pass through with the law the way it is currently, and because I live in a residential subdivision my lot is not even close to big enough to add on a seperate kitchen. I really think that most homeowners are in the same position.

I am a firm believer that most bakeries are extremely clean and sanitary - now, there are some big chains out there (restaurants) that I worry about! Even at dinner last night at Long Horns, my husband says, remember the time that Mom found a fingernail in her salad at the Long Horns in Atlanta - I thought I was going to puke!!

I am very sorry if you have gotten the impression that we feel that all home kitchens are cleaner than a commercial kitchen and that all commercial kitchen are dirty - that is NOT AT ALL what I want to portray.

I am currently working on my letter and will take all of your suggestions into consideration - I just wanted to get Kelley's letters out there so someone else could modify them as they see fit as well.

I would LOVE the support of the local business owners in this endeavor - in this economy you never know what will happen - I'm sure it would be a comfort to some of you to know that you could bake from home if God forbid something were to happen.

MCC - thank you so much for your post - I really do appreciate it!!!
post #44 of 238
I am all for it!!!!!!!! i have been catching h*ll trying to find a kitchen to rent in this area. I would love to work from home.
I bake, therefore I am!
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I bake, therefore I am!
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post #45 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by janelwaters

MCC - the law that currently exists does not support a home bakery - having your bakery/kitchen completely seperate from your home makes it a commercial kitchen, not a home/residential kitchen.

It is not feasable for most of us to do that, even adding a kitchen in my garage would not pass through with the law the way it is currently, and because I live in a residential subdivision my lot is not even close to big enough to add on a seperate kitchen. I really think that most homeowners are in the same position.

I am a firm believer that most bakeries are extremely clean and sanitary - now, there are some big chains out there (restaurants) that I worry about! Even at dinner last night at Long Horns, my husband says, remember the time that Mom found a fingernail in her salad at the Long Horns in Atlanta - I thought I was going to puke!!

I am very sorry if you have gotten the impression that we feel that all home kitchens are cleaner than a commercial kitchen and that all commercial kitchen are dirty - that is NOT AT ALL what I want to portray.

I am currently working on my letter and will take all of your suggestions into consideration - I just wanted to get Kelley's letters out there so someone else could modify them as they see fit as well.

I would LOVE the support of the local business owners in this endeavor - in this economy you never know what will happen - I'm sure it would be a comfort to some of you to know that you could bake from home if God forbid something were to happen.

MCC - thank you so much for your post - I really do appreciate it!!!



You definitely have my support. As I said, I would love to get out from under my commercial lease. Although I love my commercial kitchen and having all of my cake toys away from my house, monthly leases are outrageous here. Eliminating that in itself would be a huge savings for my business. As you said, it is very expensive to start a commercial business. With the money I invested, I could have remodeled my house and installed a pool. icon_lol.gif Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, and I would choose the later instead of the cake business...lol. I look forward to seeing your letter. Love your enthusiasm, btw. icon_wink.gif
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