Can I Eat It?: Edible vs. Non-Edible Cake Decorations

Cake decorations with their attractive colors–and often shiny appearances– help make celebrations even more fun; especially during the holidays.  However, not all decorations are safe to eat.   The Food and Drug Administration has prepared a publication entitled To Eat or Not to Eat: Decorative Products on Foods Can Be Unsafe which provides guidance to consumers to help determine if cake decorations are edible or not.  In addition, this publication provides important reminders to commercial bakers that need to be adhered to in order to help keep consumers safe. 

A good rule of thumb to remember is that if you can’t determine for sure if a decoration is safe to eat, then, please don’t.

Best wishes for safe and happy holidays for you and yours!


Be Prepared for Severe Storms and Hurricanes!

Photo by Pixabay on

Recent reports of hurricanes along the East Coast prompts a reminder to check your preparedness status regarding food safety during emergencies.  Whether you’re a consumer or a food service operator, please check out the following:

A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms & Hurricanes provided by the US Department of Agriculture

Home Emergency Preparedness from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences of the University of Georgia

Be Prepared Georgia! brochure from the University of Georgia Extension

Inspector Impersonation Alert !

Recently, our office was made aware of a couple of facilities in our district that had been contacted/visited by someone claiming to be a health inspector—yet neither actually was.   This time of year is especially susceptible to such activity.  Thus, this is a reminder to operators of the need to review– with staff– acceptable inspection protocol and areas of food defense and personal safety that should be in place.

To assist you with training and preparation in this area, please view our Food Safety Partnership Panel #3 video on Food Defense located on our website and prepare a plan for your facility using the FDA’s A.L.E.R.T. guidance document at

Wishing you a holiday season that is safe in every way!

~ Karen Gulley, Food Program Manager

Along with the Cobb & Douglas Food Service Inspection Team



Want To Be A Part Of Our Next Food Safety Partnership Panel?

We will be recording our next Food Safety Partnership Panel during the month of June, and we’re looking for volunteers to take part in this upcoming episode.  Each Partnership Panel is comprised of consumer, food service industry, and regulatory authority representatives who take part in discussing current topics related to food safety, so the only prerequisite for participation is a shared interest in the topic being discussed.

If you are interested in being a part of our next panel, please contact our Food Program Manager, Karen Gulley, at 678-385-5066.

To view one of our previous episodes, visit the Food Service page at the Cobb & Douglas Public Health website:


2016 Training Schedule Released!

Our training dates for 2016 can be viewed at the following link:

2016 Training Dates for Food Service and Swimming Pool Classes

Be sure to mark your calendar if you would like to be updated on our new Food Service Regulations or need to attend a ServeSafe Managers Training or Certified Pool Operator class!

Note:  ServSafe and Certified Pool Operator classes require advance registration.

Mark Your Calendars: New Food Service Rules Update To Be Held On January 27, 2016!

An overview of the major changes found in our new Food Service regulations will be presented by Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s Center for Environmental Health oCobbSafetyVillage_1n January 27, 2016 from 2:30-4:00 PM.  The meeting will be held at the Cobb County Safety Village, located at 1220 Al Bishop Drive in Marietta.  This presentation is being prepared especially for food service facility owners and operators, as well as anyone from the community who may be interested in these changes and areas of increased emphasis.

To reserve a seat, please complete the following registration form by January 20, 2016 and return it to the address listed on the form:

New Food Service Rules Update Registration Form

For more information, contact Karen Gulley, our Food Service Program Manager, at 678-385-5066 or