View Full Version : Certified Kitchen
05-01-2013, 10:16 AM
Im trying to do more BBQ and not ready to start a restaurant or full out catering. I landed my first job selling BBQ to a catering company. I am going to apply for an LLC and get an EIN number. What is my next step? I have a potential certified kitchen to work from. When you are working out of a certified kitchen do you have to smoke everything there? How does it work?
Big Pappa UDS
05-01-2013, 10:22 AM
Can a food truck qualify as a certified kitchen?
05-01-2013, 05:01 PM
It really depends on the state and local health department.
We have a food truck and in Ohio have a mobile permit that lets us use it anywhere in the state. In Ohio we do not have to have a kitchen other than the truck, but some states require a commissary kitchen even with a truck.
05-01-2013, 09:50 PM
In Canada as long as your food truck qualifies as a commercial kitchen, your good to go. Heaven help you if the hd, finds you prepping food at home, your truck has to be stand alone :becky:
05-01-2013, 09:58 PM
HD rules vary not only from state to state, but county to county, and even city to city within a county. ( The City and county I grew up in, there is no HD!! Want to build a house or open a raunt? Sketch a general plan of the facility on a scratch pad, show it to the mayor, give him a $10 permit fee and your good to go, no HD or building inspections required, just please do it right!!!) Best bet is to contact the HD in the areas you plan to be selling/cooking. Generally, I think if you are required to have a commercial kitchen, then all cooking has to be done at that kitchen. Your mileage may vary.
05-13-2013, 01:38 PM
Listen to this!!!
QUOTE=themidniteryder;2467332]HD rules vary not only from state to state, but county to county, and even city to city within a county. ( The City and county I grew up in, there is no HD!! Want to build a house or open a raunt? Sketch a general plan of the facility on a scratch pad, show it to the mayor, give him a $10 permit fee and your good to go, no HD or building inspections required, just please do it right!!!) Best bet is to contact the HD in the areas you plan to be selling/cooking. Generally, I think if you are required to have a commercial kitchen, then all cooking has to be done at that kitchen. Your mileage may vary.[/QUOTE]
Also most HD's we've dealt with, (FL,PA,CO) have required an enclosed cooking space/prep area, eg. trailer, no seem um mesh canopy. We have also been required to have the 3 bay sink set up & separate hand washing sink in order to vend to the public, sometimes 3 bus tubs full of water & a cooler of water work :doh:, other times the county wants to see a full setup with running water & all dirty dishes must fit into the largest sink.
Its rather costly to sell to the public the correct way, however if you are planning on selling to the public it should be done this way to protect yourself, family & cooking as well as the health of the people you are feeding. I also recommend a general liability insurance plan, usually $250 for a year of coverage... just Cover Your A**.
Like many will mention, contact your local HD and discuss it with them, most of them are very helpful & knowledgable, some more than others (yellow tape).
A call to your local business office would be worth it too, many areas require a business license to sell to the public as you have to collect taxes unless the food is charity or donations.
P.S - In many areas, local restaurants & vendors that follow the rules & have to pay the fees to operate, work together to keep the unlicensed ones off the road. Its harmful to the business operators & it does nothing for street vending relations with the public/local government.
05-13-2013, 02:09 PM
Aside from your issue about a certified kitchen, I would pause for however long it takes to develop a business plan.
Not be an a$$, and this isn't directed at you personally, but it amazes me how many people want to cater/publicly sell but fail to think the whole plan through BEFORE committing to sell food.
Sorry for the critique.
05-13-2013, 03:58 PM
As stated before, best to check with your locality.
Out here in California, any food that is prepared for service to the public (with specific exceptions now) must be prepared in either a commercial kitchen or restaurant kitchen. If it is not a certified commercial kitchen then the food must be served on premises. So, the answer here would be yes, it must all be prepped in your commercial kitchen, and anything that is served cold, cooked or not, must be prepared and packaged in said kitchen. While food trucks can be certified as commercial kitchens, you still have to work out of a commissary for things such as cold storage, foods sold pre-packaged and food handling outside of service.
05-13-2013, 04:00 PM
Where I am at, a 1Mil GL will cost $800 for a year policy. Each county may require a business license, then each city within that county may want you to buy a license from them also.Sales tax rates my vary by city also, which complicates bookwork. You should always check temps of your food and keep written logs to CYA. If you are selling to another caterer I would insist they take a temp reading upon acceptance and sign something saying you delivered all food at a safe temp and they accept responsibility to maintain safe temps. They drop the ball and someone gets sick, the more paperwork you have to cover your butt, the better off you will be. If gong legit, a HD inspector could show up at any time. Make sure to have cook logs, a food therom AND probe wipes. Seen others get busted for not having a proper wipe to clean the probe between uses. Cooking is easy. cooking for the public is harder. Cooking legit for the public can be down right hard work.
05-22-2013, 12:50 AM
In PA a food vendor/truck is still required to work out of a HD approved "commissary". The requirements are a little more basic, but it's still overhead. Many times vendors share a facility.
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