Podcast Episode: Confessions Of A Health Inspector

Are you just starting out in your business and feeling somewhat daunted at the thought of having to register your kitchen with the local Health Department? If so, don’t worry because I want you to do everything possible to keep your business legal! The featured guest is a bit of a crazy mixture – she’s a Cake Maker and she’s also a Local Health Inspector, working in the United States. I get lots of questions about this as most people seem a little afraid to get their kitchens registered because they don’t really know what it’s all about. Today’s guest with de-mystify the health inspection process and you can finally see that it’s nothing to be afraid of!

Today’s guest, who we’ll call Jane, crosses the boundaries between business and legal. She’s a local Health Inspector for a County Department in the United States and she’s also been baking since she was a teenager- she’s now in her thirties. Recently, she decided to dive into the Cottage Food Industry, as even though cottage food laws aren’t available in every state in the US, they are available where she lives. Please remember though, that Jane is not representing any specific Health Department, nor is she offering any legal or business advice. She’s really here to share her knowledge and her experience, in the hope that it can be of help to people who are starting out and need to go through the processes.  Listen in and find out all you need to know about getting your kitchen registered, without fuss.

“I think that when you just try your best to follow the rules as best you can, it creates a lot less anxiety on your part.” – Jane, the Health Inspector

Show Highlights:

  • In every country and in every state, you need to find out if there are laws that apply to the work that you do- lest you incur the consequences.
  • The Health Department’s view on public and private enterprises and where the lines between these tend to get blurred.
  • What it actually means to be registered and legal, in a basic sense.
  • The different laws that apply in the different states.
  • The dire consequences of not having the necessary licenses.
  • Certain food borne illnesses, like Norovirus, can be transmitted by touch.
  • That Health Inspectors work in the interest of protecting the public– they’re not there for the money!
  • Jane’s advice for those of you who don’t want to call the Health Department, for fear of being busted!
  • The consequences of refusing to work with the law.
  • How the health Department is likely to respond to complaints.
  • A basic walk through the process of a Health Inspection.
  • Whether or not a Health Inspector will come out to check a Cottage Food Kitchen.
  • Working out of a licensed Commercial Kitchen as a less limiting option to working from a Cottage Food Kitchen.
  • Store Front licensing requirements.
  • Using licensed Commercial Kitchens which don’t often get used, as another option, like Church or Scout premises – even night clubs!
  • What to expect on Inspection Day.
  • Hand washing really is a big deal!
  • Why you shouldn’t confuse Jane’s (or another Health Inspector’s) kindness for a weakness.
  • That Health Inspectors are only really likely to become aggressive if they encounter real resistance- they’re only human, after all!
  • That there’s really nothing to worry about when you know that you do things right.
  • Don’t forget that Health Inspectors are also members of the community, so they’re also on Facebook Groups and they’re aware of what’s going on locally.



Information about Cottage Food Laws:


Cottage Food Laws by State

One thought on “Podcast Episode: Confessions Of A Health Inspector

  1. Loved this podcast! And it came just in time as today I had the health inspectors in.
    Coincidental that I had just listened to this.I think not! Nailed it!
    Thanks Michelle!

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