The City of Plano Really Doesn't Want its Citizens Using the New Cottage Foods Law

Categories: Chewing the Fat

Last week the City of Plano Health Department posted the above video on its YouTube page, "informing" citizens about or the "Cottage Food Bill" that went into effect on September 1. Under the bill, Texans can make and sell certain non-potential hazardous baked goods in their home. The bill requires that all packages be labeled with a disclosure that the item was baked in a home kitchen that was not inspected. Sales are not allowed to take place through a store or via the Internet, creating a true face-to-face transaction in which the buyer interacts directly with the seller.

In essence, this bill allows stay-at-home moms and dads to sell cookies or brownies to make a few extra bucks. And with the labeling requirement, it takes on an aspect of "buyer beware."

But the city of Plano doesn't seem convinced.

In the new two-minute public service announcement, Keith Clark with the Plano Health Department explains how it "allows people to prepare food like breads, cookies and baked goods, and they can do this out of their house, but there's a special aspect to it, that is they are not inspected, they are not inspected by the local healthy authority, and in Plano that would be your Plano Health Department."

You know, just in case it wasn't clear when you called the person on the phone and placed your order, then drove to their house and knocked on their door (the door attached to their house), and picked up a cake that had a label on it that read "this was made in a home kitchen that was not inspected by a health department."

In the video itself, a woman with long hair (not tied back) cooks a pumpkin pie (not allowed to sell under the rules of SB 81) in her own kitchen, wearing a large flowing brown sweater. It also shows the alternative: a car drives up to a drive-thru window, where a young lady with her tidy hair pulled back leans out the window and hands a package to a happy driver, all while wearing a white chefs coat.

See how sanitary fast food is!

The message seems to be: National chains kick ass, and Betty baking a pie could be the end of cleanliness as we know it. Interesting use of city resources, Plano.

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28 comments
jyladvik
jyladvik

I would trust baked goods from someone's home kitchen, before I would trust food I buy from a restaurant. You should see some of the things that go on in restaurants and grocery stores. There is no accountability and high employee turnover at these places.

Erin
Erin

Guess the Plano Helath Dept. is unaware that Martha Stewart got her start by selling her HOMEMADE pies from a pop-up table at the market. That table probably had more germs on it than most kitchens.

Mwootto
Mwootto

Deep breath guys, this is not the new "Zeitgeist". I don't really see the big deal. Clearly, the movie is biased. That was hilarious when the woman leaned out of a fast food window with a chef's coat on. When I read the headline I was very upset. However, I didn't get anything out of it except that Plano wants you to know that "Cottages" aren't inspected kitchens. Biased or not, this is a very basic PSA. Clearly, some Plano officials are worried about liability regarding these sales. However, this seems to be a way for them to further separate themselves from that liability. I see no reason to think that Plano "really doesn't want it's citizens using the Cottage Foods Law."

LaurenDrewesDaniels
LaurenDrewesDaniels

@Mwootto. Ever take a deep breath when you can't pay rent? The big deal is that most home bakers do this for their livelihood. Not because they look cute with flour sprinkeled in their hair. This is work for people. Jobs. Income. The issue is using public funds to depict a drive through as ideal. Which, Plano did.  

Mwootto
Mwootto

Yes, actually, I find that if I take a deep breath and calm my mind it typically makes life more manageable. I also find that when I take a step back and try to approach situations reasonably the solutions seem to flow much easier. When I attack with emotions I find that I feel as if I'm lost in a negative haze. The exact same feelings apply to discussion with others. When interacting reasonably I find it raises the rhetoric of a conversation that because of my/our animal instincts is always in danger of turning towards an emotional haze. There's also a lot to be said for choosing your battles. Now, to turn back to the topic. I actually find it unfortunate that a "Cottage Foods Bill" is even necessary, that's my idealistic side speaking though. My life on life's terms side tells me to accept that: at least it's in place, while many will cast it in a negative light I ought to focus on supporting it rather than arguing, and Plano will always think drive thru food needs defending.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

How does this affect cottage cheese?

LaurenDrewesDaniels
LaurenDrewesDaniels

Under SB 81, cottage cheese is not allowed to be sold since it is perishable and requires refrigeration. However, if you were to eat cottage cheese before you picked up an order of cupcakes, you might not be as hungry, therefore wouldn't eat so many cupcakes. With that said, maybe we'll see cottage cheese sells go through the roof. Maybe cottage cheese futures is where it's at. Purely speculation at this point though. 

mamamia
mamamia

I think this is another example of government being bought and sold by the big food corporations.... Cottage Bakers are honest people trying to scrape by and keep the roof over their heads, and talented independent bakers who want to create beautiful and delicious food.  Do you have to go to an art gallery to buy a painting?  Why should you have to go to a big chain to buy cookies? How about going to your local cottage baker for fresh cookies (made from scratch without HF corn syrup, preservatives, or chemicals!)?

just me
just me

Finally a person with common sense! Maybe Plano can run a video about the 2 bakeries on their website that made a C on their health inspection. Both had critical points (violations) but, get to stay open and serve the public dangerous food. Thank You for your article.

Charles Duncan
Charles Duncan

Plano's restaurant inspection division of its health department has long been known as one of the leaders in keeping restaurant foods safe. I've heard nothing to change that distinction in Plano, along with Garland, Richardson and Irving as leaders in enforcing health laws for our benefit and safety. Politics dictated how inspections were to be conducted in Dallas and to a lesser degree in Fort Worth. 

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

...said the Plano Health Inspector...

Loretta Holland
Loretta Holland

Thank you! The video is so full of innuendo and misinformation, it's an embarrassment. I'm not sure why they mentioned proteins like chicken--that's not mentioned in the law at all. I;m not certain the HD read the law before they made this video. And how offensive to use a frumpy looking older, heavier actor to represent home bakers and a pert chipper little thing to represent restaurants! Subliminal much? Heavy + older = BAD, young + thin = GOOD! We get it. And hey, did you all hear about how the Harris County HD, which worked like the devil to stop the passage of this bill as they claimed it was a public health hazard, has not inspected 60% of the restaurants in the county in over a year? This video is your local tax dollars at work, my Metroplex friends. Good luck with all that.

Peggy Higgins
Peggy Higgins

they didn't really compare apples to apples, did they?  The food being stirred in the pots and prepared at the sink of the kitchen was not anything on the home baker's allowed list.  We didn't see a commercial baker, or their kitchen, or how they were dressed, or how they prepare pies. We didn't see their kitchen mits, kitchen counters, or their baking pans.  I happen to know a local restaurant who has really crappy looking pans like the one in the home kitchen on the video.  It's from use, nothing more, in my opinion. I dont know what was trying to be portrayed here, but it doesn't seem harmless or in the interest of the home baker. Basically, you are saying that even the home baker who does not bake for profit has a dirty kitchen and you shold not be accepting baked gifts from your grandmother or your great aunt or aunt who bakes a special whatever kind of pie or cake for you.   I stil want an answer to my question, where in the hellofrancis do the health department folks eat? I mean, if home kitchens are dangerous, then that means theirs too!   Talk about a double standard here, really. So, ALL home bakers are ignorant, as is anyone who cooks in their home for their friends and family unless of course, they are certified and the health department has inspected their kitchen.   It all comes down to money... The bakers law does not make us pay fees or fines, and we aren't regulated by the "authority" in Texas.. .therefore no money is exchanged between the business and the department.  When you can compare apples to apples on a surprise inspection to a bakery, then we can see what is what. Until then, your video doesn't  hold water.

Smarter Than You Think
Smarter Than You Think

 I'm a culinary student & I have more knowledge then half of my previous bosses do on this & I run a business from my home! My kitchen is sanitary & cleaner than Market Street Grocery Store in Colleyville, Kroger grocery store in NRH & a few other bakeries. Just because you've been inspected doesn't mean that you still can't get food poisoning. Like the Dallas Anatole several years ago or when you eat fast food or when you at home don not reheat something correctly. What do you do when Wal-Mart, who does this all the time, lets meat products, mainly poultry, sit out of a refridgerated area for so long that it stinks? Yes, try smelling it sometime, it's disgusting, yet you still eat it. So with this ignorant video, I'm sorry, but the City of Plano, I think you should more important things on your hands than this. Try going to restaurants that aren't up to code!

Nick R.
Nick R.

Next week: Plano asks, is grandma a friend or a mortal enemy? 

Frustrated
Frustrated

I wish I could post the pic of the fast food fries I got last week that had a pube in the bottom of the box. Such ignorance should be a sin!

Mellissa Roy
Mellissa Roy

fast food chains are sanitary??? well maybe when they know that the inspector is coming they are. (I worked in a few places in my past that needed inspections ((not in texas)) and they always got at least 24 hours notice of an inspector coming). I know i've walked into a few places that has had a "passing" health department score between 75-80 and you look at the place like uhhhhh well hmmm, am I THAT sure I want to eat here??? But yet a person's personal home is that unsanitary that they can't make things? my guess is that if you are selling from home, you have a family, if you have a family, you prepare food in ways that they don't get sick, which is a whole lot more than some teenager that doesn't have a clue about making food in the real world at home.

Ergo Shipspace 1
Ergo Shipspace 1

Since inspectors can't double debit for multiple violations within the same category, you can possibly have passing scores even if the building and kitchen equipment are falling apart at the seams.  That won't stop em from writing tickets though. 

Mellissa Roy
Mellissa Roy

fast food chains are sanitary??? well maybe when they know the inspector is coming it might be.(I worked at a few places that needed inspections in the past, you usually always got at least 24 hours notice of an inspector coming.) Because I know that i've been in a few that have had a "passing score" of 76-80 and you are looking around like uhhhhh hmmm, am I really that sure I want to eat here?

Ralphy
Ralphy

Taxpayer money; or Restaurant Association money????

Ralphy
Ralphy

Funny how the restaurant food looked so perfectly made, handled, presented, and otherwise great, while the homemade pie looked rather "homemade" with an imperfect crust and flrumpy looking overweight actor.

Teresa
Teresa

THANK YOU, Ms. Daniels! You are awesome!!!!

Admonkey
Admonkey

This is the dumbest, most transparent thing I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot of them.

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