le, "Amish Cookies Hot Sellers at Dorothy Lane" [in the Dec. 9 SN] and felt a little involvement was necessary. From the tone of your article it seems that both you and Scott Fox endorse the fact that Dorothy Lane Market are buying products from a person who bakes at home. This is distressing to me for several reasons.
Is her home inspected by city, county or state health officials for sanitary conditions, properly adjusted refrigeration, vermin control and all the other safety and sanitary conditions we have to abide by as a registered and regularly inspected wholesale bakery?
Does anyone in her family help produce this product, such as minor children?
Is she covering herself or helpers with workers' compensation insurance?
Does she own any licenses to sell her product to retailers or distributors?
Does the government know that she is technically a business?
I understand the romance of "homemade" and "fresh," picturing a little grandmother baking quality products in her nice kitchen at home with children clamoring for these great homemade treats. BUT+ after 16 years of government regulations, frequent city and county health inspections, visits by the FDA and Department of Weights and Measures, the IRS, Hazardous Waste Control Department, the State of California Labor Board, etc., and then PASSING all these inspectors and inspections, I question if what you wrote about is even legal?
Recently, a woman here in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County, California, was arrested for baking cookies and muffins in her garage at her home and selling this merchandise to local retailers. According to the news, she broke many, many laws.
Being one of the principals in a wholesale bakery, complying with an ever increasing amount of city, state and federal regulations concerning everything from ingredients to employees and paying a lot of money to meet all these requirements, I find it disheartening that your publication would condone and write about what I would guess is an illegal home-based bakery. In that very same publication is an article describing how Safeway was changing company policy because of the E. coli/Safeway/Odwalla incident.
If everyone in this country could process food in their homes and sell it wherever they wanted, I guarantee you would be writing about food-related deaths every week. Your article makes me wonder!
JOSEPH SEMDER president Fantasy Cookie Co.
EDITOR'S REPLY: Scott Fox, director of bakery operations for the two Dorothy Lane Market stores, has assured SN that the local supplier's cookie-baking operation is inspected by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which is the department charged with inspecting bakeries in the state of Ohio. Fox added that all Dorothy Lane Market's vendors are inspected by the appropriate agency.