Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Bakery's Practices Disturb Employee

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I work part-time in a mom and pop bakery where my family has always gotten our special baked goods. I am not saying they do anything all that different than most of us do in our own kitchens, but when you are cooking for the public, I guess I don’t expect a place to cut so many corners. They use cheap ingredients to stretch the expensive ones. Don’t always pay attention to the “best by” dates. And one time I came in to find the owner continuing to knead some dough that I saw him pick up from the floor.

They pass their health inspections regularly, so I am guessing they are not doing anything illegal, but I find it kind of disgusting that customers, like my family, are not getting either what they are paying for or the most hygienic products.

I haven’t said anything yet to my parents or family friends, since this is just a temporary job until I can get my full-time hours back. But should I tell them what goes on there? --- YUCK

DEAR YUCK: While it may not seem very savory, I’m not sure what you’re seeing is all that different from what goes on in many food service environments.

Except for the dough going from the floor to the counter, if the bakery complies with health code regulations and routinely passes health inspections, there is probably not much to worry your family or friends with. If word gets around that there’s something shady going on, whether that’s the case or not, the bakery’s business will undoubtedly suffer.

However, if you truly believe any of the bakery’s practices are dangerous to their customers, then you have cause not only to let your family know, but also to report the issue to the proper authorities — in which case, be prepared to be back on the job market.

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