Health Department: Home-based food sales could make you sick

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Public health agencies are seeing more and more pop-up home-based sales on the internet and Facebook.

They're issuing a word of caution: That food is not regulated by any government oversight agency, such as a local health department.

"That's an issue," says Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski. "You don't know how that's stored, how it was prepped, you don't know how long it's been in that basket."

Zgodzinski explains he's not talking about cottage industries, which are legal to operate and licensed.

He's talking about person-to-person sales that are completely unregulated.

"When you go out to a restaurant, we're out there making sure that they know what they're doing, and when you don't have control over somebody who's cooking food and selling it, like some of these individuals are doing, you're taking a chance," says Zgodzinski.

"You've got pets running around, maybe sick kids, people who don't even know about food safety are actually cooking at home and then selling it to you," Zgodzinski continues, "and then you as a buyer have got to be worried because you don't know how that was prepped."

If you see something on social media, health officials are urging you to contact them.

And if you want to sell your cooking, Zgodzinski suggests you approach someone with an approved kitchen first.