Cumbrian WI chief joy as red tape eased on homemade cakes and jams
Last updated at 08:52, Thursday, 08 August 2013
Home-made cakes and jams could be making a return to village fetes to the delight of Cumbrian bakers following the easing of controversial health and safety rules.
Home bakers and jam makers have been given the go-ahead to take to the kitchen after strict food hygiene laws were relaxed.
European guidelines on food hygiene previously stated that anyone baking cakes for sale at events such as WI meetings and village fetes had to have a food hygiene certificate. This prompted a downturn in the amount of homemade cakes, jams and biscuits being sold at events leaving many school and community groups needing to find alternative ways to raise funds.
Now, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has ruled that volunteer cooks and charity groups who prepare food only occasionally for community events are not bound by EU laws. This means that home bakers now do not need a food hygiene certificate to sell their produce.
Local Women’s Institutes and amateur bakers are backing the moves which they hope will get more people in the kitchen making cakes.
Joyce Seminara, secretary of Wetheral WI and the village hall committee was full of praise.
“I think it is brilliant, we have to pass stringent tests and have certificates anyway but it is wonderful,” said Joyce.
“It will make people less nervous about helping out at these events. If they have eased the guidelines it is going to help village volunteers and the people who provide the cakes.
“It is a positive move for anyone who is in this situation and does catering for fairs, shows and any other village events that we have. It is going to make people more likely to bake.
“I would like to think this would help with funding if the general public are aware.”
Pam Jago, county chairman for Cumbria Cumberland Federation of WIs, said: “The WI will welcome that with open arms. If you are selling in your own community there is no greater traceability than with the WI, we are quite happy to hear the news.
“People would rather spend their time making these beautiful cakes, rather than take an exam to get a certificate.
“Hopefully it encourages more people, it is very positive at the moment because we have a lot of young people joining WIs specifically to do crafts and baking, so it isn’t good if there are too many restrictions on them.”
Amateur baker Lexie Ward, 25, from the city centre, said if she ever considered taking her produce to events like village fetes then relaxing of regulations would be more encouraging.
“It would certainly make it easier if I ever wanted to do it,” said Lexie. “It opens up the door for more amateur bakers and gives more scope for people who do want to do it who might not want the bother of getting a licence.”
The rules have been relaxed just as a school on the Isle of Wight banned a pupil from selling cakes her mum had baked at home, because she did not possess a food hygiene certificate.
First published at 08:43, Thursday, 08 August 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Thank goodness for some practical sense at long last with all the red tape that throttles daily life and consumers.All anyone needs is a modicum of common sense and to protect hair and wash hands and finger nails thoroughly with soap and water and make certain no flies around and that work surfaces are cleaned with hot cloth with some distilled vinegar and wiped dry with clean dry cloth.For all the red tape we still have new potatoes in supermarkets being harvested then put onto shelves at higher prices seven months later, that is rubbish standards and bananas that go bad and soft rapidly all because mileage travelled then stored in cold, pesticides used mean no vitamins and minerals in any foods and neither is there any goodness left in soils due to mass marketing. So why all the silly controls on our lives when anyone wants to do a bit of local baking is beyond most folks thinking. Buy local fresh meat and veges in season at the very least.Organic Spelt stoneground is best flour to bake with full of nutrients and lower gluten than modern flours that are likely GM dwarf and 50% high in gluten as opposed to 5% of original grain like Spelt.Onwards and upwards for local events from now on then!
I've eaten and enjoyed many a cake, scone, pastry, slice of fruit loaf etc baked by a W.I. lady. They've all been lovely - and I've certainly never needed - or wanted - to see any kind of certificate. They're always baked to high standards!
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