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MarieinLA

Question for LA area bakers

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The health inspector came today (4th visit since I opened) all is fine, except she decided this time around that I can't use my three 5 and 6 quart kitchenaid mixers and has given me 3 weeks to replace them, which I really can't afford. I know they aren't NSF certified but so far every kitchen or school I have been in uses them. Any ideas on if and how I can fight this? Arrgh!!!


Ledette Gambini

Leda's Bake Shop

Sherman Oaks, CA

www.ledasbakeshop.com

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It's the same up here in Ontario, so it's likely because they don't have the cages on them. Depending on the model, you can order the cages.

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It's the same up here in Ontario, so it's likely because they don't have the cages on them. Depending on the model, you can order the cages.

Exactly my suspicion. Remember they are called "Health and Safety" inspectors?


Gato ming gato miao busca la vida para comer

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Oh man........don't get me started on those DANGBLASTED cages!!!!! :angry::sad::wacko:

Yeah yah.....I know, safety is important...blah blah blah.....but really, talk about making it

HARD to get the job done! It just takes a few bozos sticking their hands in a running mixer

to make it difficult for the rest of us!!!

So far, on every mixer I've used that has a cage, I've been able to bypass the function where

the mixer won't run unless the cage is in position, either with a cleverly placed magnet or

some such thing.....I have a very handy husband that's very good at figuring those things out. :wink:

But a cage on a KITCHENAID?!?!? Come on, now!

Up here in WA, our health inspector dude is just a food safety guy.....he doesn't have anything to do with or say about our equipment. Must be different in California.....

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I've had the KA 5qt ones in every class I've attended; and I've got some in the shop (three, actually - 2 6qt Pro models and one old 5qt).

I'm trying to remember now what my health inspector said about them - it wasn't about the cage or no cage it was something about how the paint can chip from the flat beater? In any case, he never said anything about them not being acceptable.....the 6qt models have flat beaters that are burnished, not painted, and the finish on the mixer is different but who knows if that's the reason.

After my health inspector visits, he leaves a written report - did yours do the same? What did it say about why the mixer is no longer acceptable on this visit and it was ok on all the others?

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Y'know, it just ain't fair or right. I have worked with some of the nastiest rustiest machinery. But it was commercial stuff :rolleyes: I remember one time I rinsed off a bowl & beater with hot soapy water to make some royal icing. Noticed the bowl had a hole in it, so a non-decorating co-worker said, "Oh no problem" and proceeded to patch it with a blob of shortening :rolleyes::laugh: Ahh, yeah thanks a lot.

Oh yeah, cages, but 5 & 6 quart mixers are too small to get your hand into. What a picky little blankety blank blank health inspector. It's not the beaters is it?? Teflon covered ones??? It cracks so maybe get the all metal ones??? But she said the whole mixer?? Jeez.

Oh I got it, you need to get mixers big enough to get your hand into so you have to get cages to keep you from putting your hand in there :wacko:

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Marie:

As I'm reading this again, I'm wondering is your LA the same as mine? If your's is Louisiana then I'm not sure I can help. If it's Los Angeles, read on . . .

Not a pro baker but this question is closer to my area of expertise. Here's what I would do.

Quickly, I would see if Jeanne Cake would send you a copy of her health inspector report. Can you get others from other bakers you know. Have you gotten rulings in the past from the health inspector when they noted these mixers but never questioned them?

Then, even without waiting, I would call the downtown LA office of your County Supervisor. Ask to speak to the deputy who handles health issues. Be sure to specify that you're not talking about health care (i.e., hospitals, etc.) but about health and safety for food establishments. Then, calmly (you don't want to sound like a wacko) explain what happened, the time frame the health inspector has given you, that these mixers are too small for a cage, and that you know of other bakers who have these mixers and received a different ruling/report from their inspector. Make a point of wondering why inspectors from the same department would make inconsistent rulings. Be sure to stress that you are a small business, not a big commercial baker, and that the health and safety of your customers, employees and yourself is of course always a priority for you. However, this ruling and the short time frame create a real hardship. You should be willing to send or fax copies of your report, your previous reports and information about others to point out the inconsistencies.

I encourage you to think through and maybe even script some of the things you want to say.

While it may take them a while to sort out the "inconsistency" within their own department, you should ask the deputy you speak to if you can be granted a temporary waiver, or to "stay" the order until the inconsistency is resolved.

You will, of course, be very gracious and appreciative of all the help the deputy is giving you. Further, if things work out as we all hope, you will right a thank you letter to the elected official thanking them for their assistance and complementing their deputy by name.

OK?

Go get 'em.


Edited by JFLinLA (log)

So long and thanks for all the fish.

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Anyone who sticks their fingers in a moving mixer doesn't deserve to have fingers in the first place.


www.adrianvasquez.net

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Marie:

Quickly, I would see if Jeanne Cake would send you a copy of her health inspector report.  Can you get others from other bakers you know.  Have you gotten rulings in the past from the health inspector when they noted these mixers but never questioned them?

Go get 'em.

My health inspector never wrote anything about the mixers, it was a discussion when I first opened and I was hoping he would tell me the used 20 qt I bought was not suitable for food prep - I'd bought it at an ebay auction and the seller did me wrong and I had to go to small claims court to be reimbursed for the expense of bringing it up to code. At the time, the inspector said that MA state law called for having an inspection when any new equipment (regardless of whether it is new or used at the time of installation) was brought into a food business before it could be used (remember, we're looking a a perfect world here in the gov't regs, not reality).

But, maybe you could ask someone who teaches the ServSafe class (who may well be a health inspector moonlighting) to look at your operation and check out the federal food code and see what the problem could be (I know you can buy a copy of the food code, but it is probably expensive). That at least gives you a place to start.

I know from some chefs that if it doesn't say NSF on it, their health inspector won't allow it, end of sentence.

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My only guess would be that your mixers are not the KA "Commercial" ones which, I've been told, should be the only ones used for business. The "Professional" series is not the same as the "Commercial" mixer. I have an old 5qt for my home use and a "commercial" at work. The only differences I can detect are that the commercial mixer's lowest speed is not as slow as the home mixer, and the commercial utensils (dough hook & beater) are metal and not coated which, I would think, would be the main reason as those coated ones do eventually chip.

Can anyone concur/elaborate?


Edited by kitwilliams (log)

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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I'm really interested in knowing why the mixers were fine during the first three inspections but all of a sudden during the 4th inspection they are inadequate. Did the inspector give any reason? If not, I would certainly ask for an explanation. If the code prohibits use of non-NSF equipment, the inspector should be able to give you a copy of the code free of charge. But why didn't this come up during the first 3 inspections? It doesn't make sense.

Was the inspector new? Inspectors are notorious for being inconsistent, and I would follow JFLinLA's suggestion about finding other businesses that use the same equipment and taking the matter up to a higher level of management at the regulatory agency ... but in a cordial manner, of course, so you don't piss off the inspectors. Then they'll make your life really miserable.

If the problem has to do with the lack of cage, point out that these 5 and 6 qt. models do not have cages because the openings are too small to get your paw into. :biggrin: As a compromise, you can suggest using the plastic pouring shield, which would make the opening even smaller.

If it's the painted coating on the beater, it's true that they eventually chip but you can offer to buy a brand new one. I have an old 5 qt KA made by Hobart (the K5A model from the mid-1970s--a real workhorse) and I use it in my business. The coating on the flat beater did chip after many years of use, but I was able to get a replacement thru KA's website. They also have beaters with the burnished finish but not for the very old mixers. You can check here

Please let us know how this works out for you. It really irks me; inspectors have no idea how hard it is to be in business. Good luck.


Ilene

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This is the very reason why I bought a Commercial (as opposed to Professional) mixer. Put your mixers up on eBay and pick up a K5 Commercial at your local restaurant supply store. Done and done.

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This is the very reason why I bought a Commercial (as opposed to Professional) mixer.  Put your mixers up on eBay and pick up a K5 Commercial at your local restaurant supply store.  Done and done.

I honestly think Marie deserves an explanation from her inspector before selling her mixers and buying a new one. I just did a Google search for the K5 model Commercial and it looks exactly like my K5A home mixer, down to the beaters and other accessories.


Ilene

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Thanks for all the responses. I am calling the inspector today (once I'm sure I can keep my cool and be nice) and I'll let you know how it goes. I did a little research last night and she is right in that the code states that every appliance must be NSF approved, but as beanie said, I really can't find a discernible difference between the KA commercial and professional models besides $$$...

I'll let you know how it goes. And if I ever hear city officals say they are small business friendly again I think I'll scream.


Ledette Gambini

Leda's Bake Shop

Sherman Oaks, CA

www.ledasbakeshop.com

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