Monday, March 01, 2004


"THE traditional cake stall, a major fundraiser for churches and schools for decades, is facing the knife from health regulators.

The State Government and city councils are loath to publicise it, but tough new regulations make it illegal for charities to sell food not cooked in a registered kitchen. Proof of the crackdown could be found on state polling day when few schools or churches booked tables to fill with lamingtons and fairy cakes.

Father Sandy Marshall, in the most recent newsletter for St Peter's Parish at Wynnum in Brisbane, said: "The Brisbane City Council health regulations now make it mandatory that all cakes sold in public places must be prepared and cooked in a registered kitchen. "As this parish and many like us don't have such a facility, the day of the parish cake stall is finished."

Anglican Archdiocese general manager Peter Read said one interpretation of the regulation was that any food sold must be prepared in a commercial kitchen where there were facilities such as stainless steel benches for cleanliness. "If that applies to the cake stall, there will be no cake stalls," Mr Read said. "But I've not heard of any stall since I've been here where people have been poisoned by eating church cakes."

Country Women's Association state president Lyn Kelman said a ban on cake stalls would mean a massive loss of income for the volunteer group, adding that their landmark Gregory Tce headquarters in inner-Brisbane was "built on cake stalls". "It's hard to raise funds . . . and sometimes a cake stall is the only way to make money to help all those people we assist every year," Ms Kelman said."

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