FOOD SAFETY POLICY
Food safety is our top priority, so we don’t take any risks with safety or hygiene.
It's your safety we're talking about . . . that of your children, your family, your friends, your own customers, or whoever you're making the cake for; so we hope you will agree.
One thing we most definitely do not do is sell second-hand goods* . . . which means that when you receive an item from us you know it has been stored and handled in a professional, hygienic environment at all times where we can control temperature, humidity, hygiene, how it is handled, who handles it and anything else which may affect the quality of the products we sell.
*the only possible exception is where we have rare, discontinued Wilton cake tins etc for sale to help charity.
As a reputable business, we will always endeavour to fully meet our responsibilities under the Sale of Goods Act and Distance Selling Regulations, but there are grey areas within the guidelines where edible (or "perishable") products are involved. In general terms, customers can exercise their rights under Distance Selling Regulations to return an item unless the item is exempt. Not everyone agrees - which is OK - until the courts come up with a definitive judgement to cover this entire area so that we all know where we stand. Until such a judgement is made, we respectfully point out our interpretation of the legal position and would ask that only customers who accept our position proceed to order from us.
For this reason we cannot accept returns of any edible product or some items designed to come into direct contact with food such as cake boards, even if they appear unopened.
The exception is, of course, if the item is faulty or incorrect in which case we will be happy to exchange it at our expense. On the rare occasion where this happens, we never re-sell the item . . . it is returned to the manufacturer for a credit, or is destroyed.
Whenever you buy an item from us you know that it has been in the possession of only the manufacturer and of us before being packed for delivery to you. Our staff are all trained and even William (our student from Community Involvement - an organisation which finds training and employment for adults with learning difficulties) holds City & Guilds Certificates in Food Preparation and Hygiene.
We have fun, but this is one area we take very seriously - as we hope do you.
It's very easy for someone working from home to run an on-line sugarcraft supplies business and side-step many of the hygiene and safety issues involved. If you're buying something like a DVD then it probably doesn't make any difference whether they work from home or not, but when you're buying sugarcraft and cake supplies, it becomes pretty important to know the people you are buying from don't take any chances with hygiene and food safety, and that the products are stored in a hygienic environment.
Over the past 25 years we have been blessed by meeting thousands of lovely customers but, as we all know, there are a handful of odd-bods out there who seem to enjoy hurting people or just generally causing chaos for the sheer hell of it. Our Food Safety Policy completely eliminates any potential risk, no matter how tiny, posed by such people as you can rest assured the edible and food-contact products in your order have never been already sold to, or returned by, any other customer.
Not all brands (or products) use pots with seals but, where they do, can we ask you to note the following? . . . our picking teams here at Cake Stuff are taught to check-tighten every lid of every product when packing your order - this may occasionally mean we break a paper sticker-seal if we come across a loose lid. Please regard this is a good sign (ie that we tightened a loose lid to prevent spillage) as opposed to something sinister in that the seal has been moved or torn. The seals are really there for retail shops - to discourage customers from opening lids. We don't have that problem here and seals are in no way a legal requirement, so please understand why occasionally one may appear torn.
BEST BEFORE DATES
Under current UK and EU legislation, most edible products must display a BEST BEFORE END (BBE) date. Certain foodstuffs such as meat products also must display a USE BY date. Please note these two types of dates are not the same. This causes confusion so please let us explain . . .
Nothing we sell requires a USE BY date. Most of the edible supplies we sell will display a BEST BEFORE END date, which is designed to help the customer determine the age of the product. A BBE date is for guidance only. There is nothing at all which can "go off" or become dangerous in any product which is nearing the BBE date. A BBE date is as much an aid for stock rotation as anything else and proof of this can be seen where identical products produced on the same day are given a 6-month BBE date for the UK market, but an 18-month BBE date if being exported.
We never sell products which exceed their BBE dates unless as part of a CLEARANCE SALE, in which case the BBE dates are clearly stated.
We never take risks with Food Safety so please trust us and be willing to apply some good ol' fashioned common sense when it comes to BBE dates . . . if you buy two pots of colouring and one has a BBE date 12 months away and the other 18 months away, is there really a problem? We honestly don't think so, and can only hope you agree.
COLOURINGS / ADDITIVES
Under current UK and EU legislation, there are only 3 classes of food additives: edible, non-toxic and toxic.
OK . . . let's get rid of toxic. These are substances banned from use as additives for pretty obvious reasons, so they don't appear at all unless you risk buying some dodgy colourings from the Far East where you've no idea what's been added.
Edible applies to a recognised foodstuff only. Under EU regulations "foodstuff" means something which the body absorbs - something with nutritional value. This causes confusion - if a product is not a recognised food in its own right then it cannot be officially classed as "edible". So, for example, an icing colouring paste based on sugar may be "edible" while a glitter colouring may be "non-toxic".
Non-Toxic applies to all products which are still considered safe should you eat them, but which are not recognised as foods in their own right. This classification applies to a large proportion of icing colourings and additives for no other reason than that our bodies do not absorb them - they simply pass through. They are controlled by UK and EU regulations and considered safe. Manufacturers may keep themselves right by stating "for decorative use only" (or some similar phrase) but they are designed for use with food items and, although we do not recommend deliberate use as edible colouring, sprinkles etc.
Quick example: sweetcorn is obviously "edible" but under EU classification rules the husk of a sweetcorn kernel is not digestable, so not absorbed by our bodies, so not a "foodstuff". As it's not a foodstuff it cannot be classed as edible. In effect the husk is "non toxic" although we'd all think the world had gone mad if we saw that printed on a tin of Green Giant. Common sense prevails - at least for sweetcorn!
The over-riding point is that we are never going to stock anything unless it has been tried and tested by the Food Standard Agency and already a well known within the sugarcraft world.
IMPORTANT UPDATE . . . (updated 12.6.12) there's been a lot of controversy (and confusion) over the past few months regarding cake glitters, lustres and dusts - largely caused by certain people incorrectly calling the products "edible glitter". So even although you'll see Kirsty Allsop, The Hairy Bakers, Nigella Lawson, the folk from the Great British Bake-Off and just about every other TV chef sprinkling them on to cakes and cupcakes, it is important to be aware of the differences between "edible" and "non-toxic" glitters.
We're delighted to report that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has now offered some clarity on the situation.
We feel that if we attempt to summarise or paraphrase the FSA advice, we may unintentionally add to the confusion by using different terminology, missing out a word etc so we have decided to summarise the main points below in the broadest terms and to refer our customers to the FSA website where they can see the full information for themselves. The FSA have presented this in a fairly simple Q&A style format, so it's not difficult to follow. We would advise all customers who make cakes as part of a business (even if a part-time or home business) to read this information.
Here's the cake-stuff.com summary - this is our interpretation of the regulations offered purely as broad guidance . . .
- "Glitter" is often used to refer to edible lustres and dusts as well as non-toxic glitter. This in itself causes confusion so please take the word "glitter" to include lustres, powders, sprinkles and dusts.
- Rainbow Dust (the leading manufacturer) split their range between the Edible Silk Range (edible) and The Sparkle Range (non-toxic). Be aware of this split when viewing the range.
- Only glitter clearly labelled as "edible" can be used on food intended for consumption. Edible glitters must show ingredients, approved food additives (E numbers) and a BBE date.
- Non-toxic glitters have been tested and approved by the FSA for use on decorations and other items coming into contact with the cake, but not on the cake itself . . . ie they should not to be used as sprinkles. Non-toxic glitters can be used on sugarcraft models or flowers, which would be removed from the cake and not eaten. Should any of the glitter migrate on to the cake and be eaten accidentally, it has been classed as non-toxic so poses no immediate harm. This advice applies to the Rainbow Dust Sparkle Range glitters.
- However . . . not all brands of glitter have been tested for use in contact with food and several companies continue to sell "non toxic glitter" which may have had no testing whatsoever in relation to food safety. Some of these glitters are plastic and many come from India and the Far East where plastic is recycled to a large extent. The concern is that the original source of some fo these plastics cannot possibly be known and that, as certain plastics contain chemicals which are known carcinogens (ie can cause cancer), the latent effect over many years of consumption is simply still unknown. Although almost all the glitter passes through the body (sparkly loo bowls!) a small amount can remain in the body and over many years. Cake Stuff does not stock, and never has stocked, any such non-tested / non-approved brands of glitter.
- Obviously no-one in their right mind would intentionally expose children to such a risk - no matter how small - so Cake Stuff want to make our customers aware of the situation and of FSA advice. All Rainbow Dust glitter is correctly labelled and correctly described on the cake-stuff.com site, so both the manufacturer and seller have done everything required of them . . . the ultimate decision about how to use the product lies with the customer.
- "Edible" glitters should be thought of as 100% edible.
- "Non-toxic" glitters should be thought of as inedible.
We hope this helps clarify the position. For more detailed information please see the FSA website for "Guidance launched in edible glitters and dusts".
By ordering from cake-stuff.com you are showing you will agree with this policy. This policy does not affect your statutory rights and the full Terms & Conditions can be read by clicking on the TERMS link at the top of this page.