Non-licensed home bakeries investigated

Jason Angus Reporter

October 25, 2013

After receiving an anonymous tip from a “Concerned Resident,” for public health safety, Jackson County Health Department has been investigating unlicensed, illegal home bakeries. JCHD was anonymously notified of several facebook web pages promoting the sale of baked goods, prepared in home kitchens located in the Altus area.

The “concerned resident” informed JCHD of several locations selling various cakes, sweets, and canned goods without a food license, thus not being inspected and maintained in compliance with Oklahoma Health Code. They also provided that according to State Statute 63-1-118-A, it is unlawful for any person to operate or maintain any establishment where food and drink is offered for sale, or sold to the public, unless they are the holder of a license issued for such a purpose by the State Department of Health. The resident provided screen images of facebook pages including Entertaining Angels Cakes & Other Sweets, and Amy’s Sweet Affair (formerly Sweet Amy’s).

JCHD Regional Health Director Karen Weaver stated that one of the businesses mentioned in the query was Petal Pushers Flowers and Gifts, but it was stated that Petal Pushers does in fact have a food establishment license and meets all requirements. JCHD has since made contact with the other two establishments that are cooperating to cease selling baked goods out of their home until a new law permitting the sale of home bakeries goes into effect Nov. 1.

House Bill No. 1094, the “Home Bakery Act,” will allow for a “home food establishment,” starting on Nov. 1, to prepare foods for consumption off premises, earning less than $20,000 in gross annual sales without a food license. According to the law, “prepared foods” cannot contain meat or fresh fruits. The person operating the home food establishment is exempt from meeting licensing requirements by the State Department of Health, but are subject to provide written documentation of gross annual sales.

Additionally, home bakeries will be required to attach a label to their product clearly stating the name and address of the home food establishment, the name of the prepared food, and the statement, “Made in a home food establishment that is not licensed by the State Department of Health,” printed in at least 10-point type.

Violation of the “Home Bakery Act” is a misdemeanor offense, and can result in no more than a $100 fine.

Weaver believes that anyone buying from these home bakeries are aware of the potential risks of consuming foods from a home kitchen just as someone might do when attending a community barbecue. “It is the same risk,” Weaver said. “My concern is the protection for the people in our community.”

JCHD Public Health Specialist Travis Collier stresses that once the law goes into effect, it is for baked goods only.

“It’s not for any meat products,” Collier said. “Anyone selling any meat products that are not licensed is doing it illegally.”

When it comes to fundraiser events in the community, JCHD asks that all goods prepared follow all food code requirements.

“Weather they are licensed or not, we don’t want food born illnesses to spread. People can always contact the Health Department for a list of rules and guidelines to follow.”

Collier informed that the Health Department offers a food safety course every quarter to learn about food handling practices.”

“You never know what’s in someone’s food kitchen,” Collier said. “We want them to attend those classes just to give them some tips on food safety, and prevent food borne illnesses.”

For more information, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health website at or call Public Health Specialist Travis Collier at JCHD at (580) 482-7308.

Today’s “Man On the Street” (pg. 12) wants to know…

“How do you feel about buying baked goods from a non-licensed home bakery?”