Edibles recall: Co-owner on making hash with washing machine, health agency compromise

Washing.Machine.jpg
At Home Baked's website
Don't expect to see At Home Baked products on dispensary shelves for a few weeks.
The Denver Department of Environmental Health ordered the recall of products made by a local hash-infused edibles manufacturer last week after "possible contamination from unsanitary equipment" and using equipment "not intended for food manufacturing," according to a statement by the DDEH's Public Health Inspections Division.

The equipment in question: a washing machine.

See Also: Ask a Stoner: What is hash, exactly?

At Home Baked was ordered to recall its brownie and blondie mixes, rice krispy treats and Stixxx Candy after the DDEH decided the washing machine used by the edibles manufacturer to make its water hash wasn't food-safe. AJ Ashkar, co-owner of At Home Baked, says using a washing machine is standard practice in water hash production, and he had no idea the Public Health Inspections regulated cannabis concentrates.

"We don't see the appropriate connection between the concentrate we're making and food," Ashkar says. "We kept the washing machine in a separate room from the kitchen."

At Home Baked shares a state marijuana license with Denver medical dispensary Advanced Medical Alternatives, which features At Home Baked products on its online menu. Westword cannabis critic William Breathes tried out At Home Baked's brownie mix for a 2012 edition of the Chronicle and gave it favorable reviews.

Ashkar says his company follows every procedure required by the Marijuana Enforcement Division and takes the necessary steps to ensure the quality of his concentrates.

"All of our hash is dried and cured" to help eliminate impurities, he says. "The next step we do, which is even more extensive-- we heat it for a period of time to kill any contaminants and bacteria, so it doesn't get to added our food."

DDEH inspectors view hash-infused edible manufacturers under the same scrutiny as restaurants, so although making hash in a washing machine might be fine under MED standards, city food inspectors say otherwise. Not only was using a home-washing machine a violation in DDEH's view, but the department says the device was covered in visible health risks.

Washing.MachineB.jpg
Denver Department of Environmental Health
Pictures taken by state health inspectors show a worn washing machine with visible mold and corrosion. Ashkar disputes the context of the photos.
"Those photos are new. The washing machine was clean when they inspected it over a month ago and we were told to stop using it," Ashkar says. "Then they came back a month later and said it was moldy."

Danica Lee, food safety section manager of the DDEH, says the pictures were not taken a month after inspection, despite what Ashkar claims. Rather, she says, they were taken in June.

Despite these differing accounts, both sides have come to a compromise. Until a permanent production solution is in place, DDEH granted At Home Baked temporary use of a Bubble Magic Machine -- something Lee says is "much more comparable to commercial equipment" and "vastly better in terms of clean-ability."

Here's a video of a Bubble Magic Machine.

Ashkar says the Bubble Magic Machine can only produce about one-third the hash of a standard washing machine, but he and his associates are happy to continue production and will "take this on the chin and hope it doesn't knock us out."

On July 21, At Home Baked posted an update about the situation on its Facebook account. It reads:

Thank you all so much for all of your kind words and support!!! At Home Baked LLC and Stixx will make it though this and will be getting replacement product out to rec and med shops next week and the week after!!! If you have ANY Stixx or At Home Baked on your shelf now please contat me with the # you have remainig so we can recall them and get you fresh product next week!!! Much Love!!!
Ashkar says At Home Baked offered a full refund to anyone who purchased the recalled items, and since then only four boxes have been returned.

"No one has ever reported getting sick of our products. I stand behind every single one of them," Ashkar says. "This is going to be an expensive process, but we don't do it for the money. We do it for the patients."

Ashkar says At Home Baked products should be back on dispensary shelves within two to three weeks.

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118 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Upcoming Story -- WholeFoods® to sue stupid stoners who advertise in Wasteword and think WholeBuds is a cool name for their new dispensary,  including COPYING the Type Font and Color of WholeFoods' TRADEMARK Logo.


Epic Legal FAIL !!


.


KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

so why are they permitted to use the machine through sept if there is a problem?

Dina Boogie Godfrey
Dina Boogie Godfrey

Is there another way to make hash? I'm sure their machines were purchased solely for that and haven't been used for dirty underwear. Which means, it's a metal tub full of tap water. It's not any more unsanitary than eating fast food. Ever seen where they put the food? Let's get real here people.

Becca Mertens
Becca Mertens

I get the idea of a washing machine but they need to keep it clean. The idea of it coming in contact with black mold is disgusting!!

Aj Hashman
Aj Hashman

Any water sitting stagnant in a tube for 30-40 days grows mold especially if it had been used to process plant matter exclusively like ours was. Thats why we switched out the tubing for clear food grade tubing and we would replace that tube every 30 days when we were doing production...

Aj Hashman
Aj Hashman

Becuase they told us we couldent it just had to sit there

Che Weller
Che Weller

@Aj hashman I have one quick question. If it was sitting unused for 45 days in your own basement, and you knew they were looking into all your shit. Why didn't yall hit the machine up with some vinegar oe bleach or envirocide solution to clean it up? If for no other reasons than just to have a clean machine next time or just to have a clean setup in storage..? Did they say dont touch that machine its evidence? I personally don't care what the reasons were. Im just a curious onlooker. And my washing machine that washes filth out of my clothes, sometimes sits without use for 20 or 30 days. Ive never ever seen black mold in it. It had to come from dirty ass moldy buds. Idk tho. Im definitely not picking on ya. Just trying to find out what deeeleeeoh is so others dont suffer this misfortune!

Aj Hashman
Aj Hashman

Our machine was very clean when I came into question, they made it sit for over 45 days unused in a corner of our basement in our dispensary then came back and took pictures of the mold that had grown and said that was the reason for the recall which was total bullshit please know that all of our products are 100% safe and made on clean equipment every single time in fact our equipment was so clean that it was never in question until they came back 45 days later and took pictures of the machine that had been neglected as per their demand. The whole situation is very much like intrapment and very frustrating for us we have and always will guarantee all of her products and as many of u know we make some of the best edibles on the market. Not a SINGLE PERSON has ever gotten sick from our edibles and we use all of our vast culinary knowledge to keep it that way the health dept is just trying to justify a witch hunt we are a victim of because they are being pressure to show where the enforcement money from all these taxes are going... plain and simple and we are caught in the middle...

Steve Bird
Steve Bird

It's a government regulated industry. If you want to play you have to follow the rules and try to pass legislation if you want it to change. People like those who make this product are slapping everyone in the face that follow standards like having machines that were made for these purposes and not using washing machines. It doesn't matter what people used to do prelegalization. Suck it up and do it right.

Rodger Mathena
Rodger Mathena

hash for smoking, its not a big deal! But if its for edibles, it needs to be sanitary!

Skye Cameron
Skye Cameron

Needs to be cleaner than that one was in the pics when this story first broke.

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

Christian wolf: "nasty chemicals like chlorophyll" ARE YOU FUCKING RETARDED? How about you revisit 10th grade biology and remind yourself what the fuck chlorophyll is. God forbid I smoke marijuana and consume chlorophyll. Oh the terror. Reiterated: Plebs, the lot of you.

Derek MileHigh Nye
Derek MileHigh Nye

no...black mold and "unwholesome" things found in the washing machine isnt standard

Derek MileHigh Nye
Derek MileHigh Nye

washing machines may be standard but the black mold, brown shit and other 'unwholesome' things they found are not

Jeff Buske
Jeff Buske

they didn't make the food in the washer..jeez

Jeff Buske
Jeff Buske

been done for years....funny, how people have no idea

Nathan Embree
Nathan Embree

The article doesn't say that making hash in a washing machine is the problem . It says making hash in a dirty washing machine THEN ADDING IT TO FOOD is the problem. .

Jason Garrison
Jason Garrison

He makes the hash, then he mixes it in with the brownie batter. Kinda like making canna butter, but you use a stove for that

Josh Weakland
Josh Weakland

Why would you not run your business as it were a restaraunt?...and adhere to standards set in place? Seems like a lazy dirty way to make bulk. You ask how does it relate to food or whatever? Were you trying to make a joke? Protect your own ass. This dude is hilarious.

Christian Wolf
Christian Wolf

Are you saying this company's bubble hash is some of the best around? Bubble hash is the most impure hash out there. It is defiantly the "bathtub gin" of hash when it carries nasty chemicals like chlorophyll and the nutrients people grow with. Just looking at it one could mistake it for shit..

Moonie Kim
Moonie Kim

I personally like to make up pounds of hash, by hand, with a heating pad and rolling pin. I think this should be the industry standard as it is clearly the most efficient way to process HUNDREDS OF POUNDS OF MARIJUANA, YOU IDIOTS. Those who say washing machines aren't standard are not well-informed. However, his machine was filthy. I'm all for regulation that calls for the cleanliness of these things. I will NEVER buy from At Home again after seeing how filthy that machine was.

Randy E. Skunk
Randy E. Skunk

Ummmmm companies make 20 gallon bags for larger runs. It is apparent washing machines and the like are not the premier device for making quality hash. And no this clown does not make the best hash ever. U obviously have not tried a lot of hash.

Che Weller
Che Weller

Where the hell do yall think bubble hash comes from? Its made in dumbed down washing machines with zipper closure bubble bags.. Just search google for hash washing machines. Theres an entire industry of products. This is just dumb already, I can smell the ignorance from the hallway. Or maybe its just dumb kids saying hash isnt made with a washing machine. When you have pounds and pounds of weed to process into hash, you use a machine. Not your kief box.

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

If you've ever had AJ's hash, you'd know its some of the best around. Your argument is invalid. Comparing hash to bathtub gin is completely ludicrous. Bathtub gin was cut with all sorts of stuff, let alone diluted afterwards for profit. Diluted product is incongruous with hash.

Christine Nicole
Christine Nicole

It *was* standard during prohibition. But we've legalized now... This is the equivalent of post-prohibition bathtub gin! Why continue to make a dirty product?

Luis Posada
Luis Posada

Industrial machines are often used to make food products here in the 21st century. What bothers me is the maintenance and cleanliness of said machines. That does have to be regulated.

Chad Nelan
Chad Nelan

Ya that works on a very small scale. Using a washing machine is totally standard for anyone trying to make hash from more than their home garden. Some of the best hash I've ever had cane through a washing machine and then filtered through bubble bags.

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

Bubble hash has been around a lot longer than bubble bags. Just saying. And the bubble magic machines and their ilk that are found nowadays came from... *Drumroll please*: WASHING MACHINES. Plebs, the lot of you.

Kevin A. Mahmalji
Kevin A. Mahmalji

He needs to focus his time on improving his technique instead of taking half naked pictures of shitty models. #clownshoes

Travis Penman-Keever
Travis Penman-Keever

What does hash have to do with brownies? Uninformed uneducated unliking this page

Randy E. Skunk
Randy E. Skunk

No...no its not standard. Just shows the level of ignorance in the industry. It's a lazy dirty way of making hash. Use bubble bags or hell make dry sieve.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... you're not the sharpest tack in the box, are you Dina?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... so how to you properly clean between the interior perforated drum and the exterior drum, disassemble the entire washing machine?


Way too many nooks, crannies and inaccessible areas / locations in a CLOTHES washing machine to be used to make FOOD products ... which is why NO OTHER FOOD INDUSTRY uses Clothes Washing Machines in their production process.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... ever forget and leave your wet clothes in the washer for a day or two?


Remember how they smell sour like stinky socks? ... that's mold growing on your wet clothes.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Regulation Works!, Bitch !!


Now bend over and GET REGULATED! ... YOU Voted For IT!!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... because MOLD in smoking hash isn't a problem?


LOL!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Christian Wolf " It is defiantly [sic] the ..."


Says the defiantly illiterate imbecile.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

"It is defiantly the "bathtub gin" of hash when it carries nasty chemicals like chlorophyll and the nutrients people grow with."

clearly someone who understands little on the subject. there are no chemicals when making bubble hash--just water.  put down the oil rig...

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