Health Officials Bravely Shut Down Rogue 11-Year-Old Cupcake Magnate

Told sixth grader to buy bakery or build her own kitchen

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An 11-year-old girl who ran a mini cupcake business in Troy, Ill. has been shut down by punctilious local bureaucrats.

Chloe Stirling was bringing in about $200 a month before her business, Hey Cupcake!, was shut down under food health laws Monday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Health officials in Madison Co., Illinois said that if local sixth grader Chloe Stirling wants to continue selling cupcakes, she will need to buy a bakery or build a separate kitchen.

Madison County is applying laws governing all food-selling businesses, a health department spokeswoman said, reports the Post-Dispatch. “The rules are the rules. It’s for the protection of the public health,” the spokeswoman said. “The guidelines apply to everyone.”

Including you, Chloe, including you.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

21 comments
mellingerman
mellingerman

It's just the state protecting the businesses that pay off the politicians.  It is always about the money.

Piacevole
Piacevole

What is the actual incidence of people becoming ill from cupcakes?  I would bet that it is very, very low, or nonexistent.  There is no real reason why a home kitchen - particularly for baking - cannot qualify under a health code.  It should have easily-cleanable surfaces, and the practices of the people using it should be careful as to temperatures of cooking and holding food.  There should be no insect or rodent infestations, and if someone watches production for a while, it's easy to tell whether they have the concepts of sanitation under control.  There is probably a short food-service course she could take, just to cover the bases.


People have potlucks and home-sourced large meals all the time, without problems.  This health department was probably responding to complaints from merchants.

JohnnyWalker-Martin
JohnnyWalker-Martin

It's all fun and capitalism until someone gets HEP-A from a 6th grader that didn't know about hand washing.

DownsSophia
DownsSophia

Please go to gofundme.com/6pl0tw?pc=tw_u to help her save her "My Cupcake" business. We can discuss it all day long. But the bottom line is she is a young entreprenuer doing something positive. With all the negative stuff that is out there concerning the youth of today this story should captivate your heart. Let's give unto her to let her know that in spite of the obstacles that are in front of her she can make it! And become a role model unto other youth.

JezidiahCooke
JezidiahCooke

The funny thing is those cupcakes are probably way more sanitary and safe than any that come from a "commercial bakery". I bet that little girl and her parents clean which is something a lot of commercial places don't do or at least don't do well.
 She could get a business license and invite the inspectors over for tea!

globeprober
globeprober

Someone should GIVE this girl a bakery, a whole bakery, just to spite these foqqers. This is ludicrous. Surely there's some rich actual-magnate who will be like 'I'll own the business for you til you turn 18, then you take over the papers, but seriously, these guys have got to go' — oh wait, that's the next story, they're keeping that hero in the wings and trotting him/her out in due (ha) "Time".

AnthonyMorris
AnthonyMorris

Today, we took down the cupcakes. Tomorrow, we kick down lemonade stand signs!

BellaMia7
BellaMia7

That would not have happened in Texas. In 2011 The Texas Cottage Food Law would protect her rights to bake for money.

Texas Legislature passed SB 81, a bill making it legal to sell certain homemade foods like baked goods which do not require refrigeration, jams, jellies, and dried herb mixes.

Of course, the bureaucrats could not leave well enough alone. After SB 81 went into effect, an unintended result was that some cities around the state banned cottage food operations on the grounds of “zoning”.

So the law was amended in 2013.

expands the list of allowable food to include candy, coated and uncoated nuts, unroasted nut butters, fruit butters, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, popcorn, cereal, granola, dry mix, vinegar, pickles, mustard, and roasted coffee or dry tea

prohibits a municipality from outlawing cottage food operations on the basis of “zoning”

allows sales outside the home, at specific locations such as farmers markets, farm stands, or municipal, county, or nonprofit fairs and festivals

HB 970 also adds to consumer protections by adding the following requirements:

all cottage food operators must complete an accredited food handler’s course (can be taken online, usually costs about $10 and takes 2 hours or less)

all foods must be packaged in a way that prevents product contamination, except for large or bulky items

TamaraPqskas
TamaraPqskas

Can she just forget to sanitize too, and food poision a bunch of other teenagers - then we will look away cos she's just a cutie?

She learnt a big lesson early on: she needs to comply with regulations. She will be very successful one day

davidthomas.devine
davidthomas.devine

For those who think this is ridiculous, why should age be a differentiation when it comes to the application of law?  If a 33 year old guy was doing the same thing, would this even be a news item?

Phronesis
Phronesis

There we go crushing the entrepreneurial spirit.

GabrielDiLaurentis
GabrielDiLaurentis

stories like these remind me that we live in a truly ridiculous world.

Channah
Channah

@DownsSophia And, scattered all over are housewives starting some type of food business in their kitchens.  I can see the pros and cons of it all.

BSGivesMeHives
BSGivesMeHives

@TamaraPqskas Ever had food day at work? Tons of people making food, touching food, coughing over food, sticking their fingers in stuff, and you KNOW they didnt wash their hands!  I bet she wore gloves.

globeprober
globeprober

@TamaraPqskas Yes, we MUST automatically presume that she will at some point in some way, be unsanitary! Just like everybody always arrests everybody for crimes they may or may not commit some random time in the future! Right?
Or is the fact of factory farming being labelled "sanitary", and outdoor sunshine field-based free-range chicken-chopping being labelled "unsanitary", acceptable to you just because the food industry wants you to believe it? You buy in to that, I bet, judging from your opinion above.

DyneshaGreene-Williams
DyneshaGreene-Williams

@davidthomas.devine Good point...I have my Food Safety & Sanitation license and I am in culinary school and the same applies to me. The state of IL requires that you have a separate kitchen and utensils to sell baked goods out of your home. But they allow you to sell baked goods made at home at farmers markets...IL has the most restrictive cottage food law in the country. http://cottagefoods.org/laws/usa/illinois/

globeprober
globeprober

@davidthomas.devine Well I'm sorry, but it IS ridiculous, and categorically so. And like I said to a previous commenter, it's even more ridiculous given the pathogens regularly spread around in so-called 'sanitary' conditions in factory farming, which in reality are anything but sanitary. Meanwhile we occupy ourselves with the marginal possibility of a cupcake not being fully cooked or its frosting having some accidental nasties of some kind in it. We're not even talking chicken burgers, we're talking cupcakes, man. Lighten the hell up; if you don't want the cupcakes from the nice little lady, don't buy them and don't eat them! If she was selling on my city's corner, I'd buy, and I wouldn't worry about the chance that Windex got mixed in with the milk when the scratch was being stirred...

teahag
teahag

It's a wonder the human race has survived this far. Next thing you know we won't be able to cook for our own children.

As a local restaurant owner in a neighboring town, even I think this is ridiculous.

globeprober
globeprober

@MichaelLacson @GabrielDiLaurentisThere's no more and no less risk of that with something like this, than there is with the exact same thing happening with ANY stand-based food provider, regardless of licensing, regardless of health checks, regardless of anything! For serious, the checks on the licensed stands are really not as stringent as people think. It's like hospitals-- you see the license so you presume they're clean, and it's not always so. At least cupcakes run among the LEAST likely food products to poison anybody!

AmmyPotter
AmmyPotter

@globeprober So, you advocate not getting proper licensure and inspections to make the problem worse, just because it will happen any food provider?  THAT is ridiculous, not these people simply following the law and doing their job.  Secondly, up to 97% of all food borne illnesses are caused by the food handler.  It doesn't matter if it is a cupcake or a steak, the contamination has to come from someone/something.  It doesn't just magically appear.