Saturday, April 17, 2010


I never knew jam poisoning was such a big deal in NZ, but the safety nazis have struck again on the home-made preserves racket. Radio NZ reports that the Kapiti district council is clamping down on unlicensed kitchen condiments:
The council's manager for assets and services, Gary Simpson, says all others must have registered kitchens, no matter what their size. This, he says, is to guard against outbreaks of illness. But the market's convenor Sherryl Gray, who describes the new decree as a kick in the guts, says the cost of setting up a commercial kitchen is prohibitive. She says the cooks are furious because their food, such as cakes and preserves, has never generated a complaint. She also says the market has given $63,000 to community causes since 1996.
This is just nutty red tape. I take stuff like this pretty personally. It's crap like this that keeps rooting my business ideas. Last time it was Labour's school tuck shop ideas that ran over my cunning plan before fruition. Now it's the bloody cake and jam banners.
The rigours of setting up a commercial kitchen to match the high standards of the certifiable cardy clipboard carriers puts a few start-ups right off. We can't all be like Cookie Time, who started off lucky enough to borrow some else's commercial kitchen on the downtime. Or maybe that's a new use for off-peak restaurants. It has happened before, after all. Wishbone keeps fluking it too.

But there really should be an exclusion for advertised home-sellers, such as at markets or stalls. Maybe insist home-bakers stamp their goods with a big green "U" for unlicensed to give due notice that it's buyer beware. None of this "charity cooking only business" either.

You want to kick start the economy on the cheap, here's an idea. Short lease out all those CBD For Lease gaps on the street to the home-cookers. I'd be keen to start some kind of Mexican food joint myself, serving nachos to the suits for lunch; just a fridge, sink and stove for basic kit. But oh, no. There'd have to be much more gleaming stainless steel and sealed linoleum before the boxed are all ticked.

Speaking of jam of another kind, here's the story behind the YouTube caching clusterfuck at TelstraClear. Two thumbs up to Geekzone for the information, as TC weren't exactly updating their customers on the obvious problem. I've had a gutsful for six months, YouTube vids taking three times longer to load than the length of the clip.

Between Telecom and TelstraClear, it's like choosing between the last two girls on the dance floor at closing time. Both lonely and sad and a bit desperate, but at least getting rooted by TelstraClear is still not as painful as the Telecom *.