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Ohio Home Restaurant Laws and Bakery Labeling Laws???? The Great Hall: Ohio Home Restaurant Laws and Bakery Labeling Laws????
By Winddove (Winddove) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Hello to all...

I was wondering if anyone is familiar with the new Ohio Law for home restaurants? The 120 meals per week sales with no inspectors to contend with? Our local health inspectors want us to be "hush hush" about it so Ma and Pa places don't start up. That's fine...although I feel like the local guinnia pig. Anyway...I am wanting to know if any of you have tried out this new law and how's it going. Also, I am in the home bakery business. When I go out and sell my goods I don't need to label them with ingrediants. Why do I have to label if I sell them to someone and they turn around and resell them at their coffee shop? The peopls are not picking the bakery goods up and taking them home but instead the coffee shops hands them the food to eat right there. There should be no labeling right? Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 01:41 am: Edit

gee, does it not make sence to lable everything?
what if someone has an allergie to something you use, aren't you affraid of being sued??
and even tho they may not require it, wouldn't it be safer and ethiclly correct to have the health dept check out your place just to be on the safe side??
this stuff should start with you, who cares what the law is going to let slide.
just do it to be safe.
what does your insurence company have to say about it.
someone remind me to drive right through ohio on my next road trip.

By George (George) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 05:53 pm: Edit

Moderators note: 2 messages deleted.
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If you want specific answers to specific questions hire a consultant.

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By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 05:35 pm: Edit

Winddove-I hope this may help.
From what you describe, I believe the coffee shop owner is just trying to cater to his customers' needs. Although in a service environment, it is not necessary to label ingredients of fresh baked goods, customers often request them. Telling him/her yourself really will not help him that much---how is he supposed to remember? and make sure all his employees remember them correctly? Eventhough the law reads that if foods are prepared on the premesis the Dept of Ag does not require ingredient labeling, your coffee shop owner falls somewhere in between a food service provider and a food retail operator-which would require labeling. I think he is trying to protect himself, his customers, and ultimately, you as well. Why not run off some little business-sized cards on your computer with the name of the item on one side and a list of ingredients on the other and slip a dozen of them into the boxes of muffins, scones or whatever that you deliver to him? That way, there will always be a reference for the coffee shop employees.
Although I am not completely familiar with all the changes to these Dept. of Agriculture (they regulate bakeries, not the Health Dept.) rules, I know that there are some special considerations for food producers in states that have large populations of Amish and Menonites.
Try to think of this problem from a marketing perspective. What course of action creates a stronger link between you (and your product) and your market (the people who buy or may want to buy your product)? The more you clarify your message (who you are, what you make, why it is good, why they should buy it) to the buying public, the more your clientele want your product and trust it.
After answering these questions and clarifying your message, you may want to go above and beyond what is required by overworked, underpaid bureaucrats and label your items "Wheat Free" "Nut Free" "Egg Free" and the like. Identify what your client's concerns are and market yourself to them.
I know that thinking of your business from a marketing (not just advertising) perspective may seem foreign and the questions hard to answer, but it's really the only way for your business to grow.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 06:59 pm: Edit

Just as Kinglear says the Ag department requiers food to be labeled if not prepared on the premises. For many years local municipal Health Departments have allowed no labeling for secondary sellers of fresh baked goods but just as with haccp and many points of the Unified Health Code these same Health Departments are narrowing their exceptions to the rules.

How hard would it be to produce stickers that list the ingredients? Couldn't you pass on the extra handling cost?

I'm interested in the "Home Restaurant" law. What is that?

By Winddove (Winddove) on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 01:22 am: Edit

Thank you Kinglear for your intellect. I salute you for your kind yet educational words.

I have no problem labeling items. I don't wish to give out recipes...when I don't have to either. The Coffee Shop I am referring to has a young rich 26 year old working with bakers on Consignments. He don't even cook. This has me a bit leary though I do feel he is inventive. Because he is "Just" working with Daddy's money...and not doing no cooking himself from what I gather...I am just a little nervous. Not sure why... but want to be careful. I do agree...How on earth could he remember everything coming through his doors? I am however very protective of my recipes. Call me a brat...but I have worked my brains out to get where I am...and done it on my own.

As regards a question about the restaurant law in the home. There is a few "Ma & Pa" places literally in their homes...that have wonderful foods. They used to have to deal with the EPA, Dept. of Ag, Health Dept. Zoning...etc. Now...because of so many B&B's and the Amish...the laws have loosened a bit. However, you can't sell more then 120 meals a week. This bill was passed in the Spring of 2000 and believe me...the "OFFICES" don't want anyone to know. This could be my honest opinion. However...telling an individual they can't have shipped water brought in but have to put $75,000.00 in water and septic in a small place in my home town had the folks enraged...myself included. This poor family...lost everything... It broke my heart for them. Anyway...some of these "Ma and Pa" places are set up to bring your own wine...Champayne..etc...and meals run from $20.00 and up. Some places have music. Mine will in time. The inspections are only on the number of meals you serve per week. You have to post it in your restaurant that you're not liscensed which alerts the public. Many are making a living out of other cities.'s still a bit "hush hush".

Again...thank you Kinglear...your advice is well taken. I will ponder your information.

If however, anyone comes along working under these new laws and has any advice or wish to share experiences with me...I would appreciate it.

Grazie... Pamie

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 06:06 am: Edit

Chains like Panera and others readily have a book with all the nutritional values and ingredients listed for customer examination upon request.
This is more common now due to allergies and health reasons.

By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 09:33 am: Edit

Winddove--Thank you for your compliment. Remember, a list of ingredients in descending order is NOT a recipe. Without measurements, mixing directions, bake times and temperatures there is no way a person could reasonably duplicate your product. If they happen to, so what? It's unlikely they will want to encroach on your business. Wouldn't a competitor want to try to distinguish him/herself with their own distinctive line of products? Besides, didn't you get YOUR basic recipes from somewhere and adjust them to fit your distinctive style?

Why distrust the coffee shop owner just because his Dad set him up in business? I would venture to say that he is subject to the same business constraints (labor cost, food cost, overhead, economic downturn, taxes, etc.) that anyone else is. He's fortunate to have a little more cushion than most of the rest of us. That doesn't mean he can't go under based on one bad decision just like anyone else. Since he's only interested in subcontracting out his food and not producing anything himself, wouldn't it be only in your best interests to give him more, rather than less, info about you and your products. Thus, you'd be a stronger presence in his business, creating more sales for you without the headaches? It's free advertising, baby. Many small food vendors pay good money for prominent product placement in particular stores--think Krispy Kreme in Starbucks!

It seems that your hometown water/septic story is a peripheral issue to your business. A concern, definately, but really not your problem. From my point of view, if a business owner has a septic problem, ESPECIALLY IF HE SERVES THE PUBLIC IN ANY WAY!, he should spend the bucks and have it fixed!!! Have you heard of cholera? So what if he wants to truck in water? The ground is contaminated and a severe risk to the public, let alone him and his family.

Good luck in your venture.

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 11:32 am: Edit

I agree with Kinglear. I know many so-called professional bakers who cannot bake themselves out of a paper bag without a recipe (sometimes even with one LOL). If this guy doesn't cook, he is no threat to you. You have taken the time and know your product. Baking is so very much based on chemical processes and exact amounts that he will likely never be able to figure out what or how much. Don't spend your time sweating it. Keep your customers happy and they will keep you in business!


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