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View Full Version : Question for Vendors in Virginia


DHoskins
12-08-2013, 08:56 PM
Hi all! I'm looking for some info from barbeque vendors in Virginia. I want to start my own vending/catering business. Talking to the health department, they're telling me I need to have 4 solid, cleanable walls on my set up. I know for a fact that there are other vendors/caterers that use an "open air" setups, and they are health department certified. Anyone know the secret to getting them to allow it? I would rather not use the "but you let this guy do it" approach. Any thoughts?

BeaglesBBQ
12-09-2013, 01:28 PM
When I first started vending I did a table/tent set-up and I would tow my smoker around. That was fine as long as I had a hadwashing set-up. However, I had to have a commercial kitchen to do all prep and cleanup etc.
I would assume the open air vendors you have seen do the same thing.

HBMTN
12-09-2013, 01:57 PM
As crazy as it seems the law is open to interpretation from the inspector I believe. There are things that are ok to one inspector and not another. When I started my inspector told me I had to use crock pots for hot holding if I did not have a steam table and I wanted to use chafers. Another inspector told a friend he could use chafers. The inspector over my area will let you pull about 4 temp permits to cook road side after that they make you have a certified kitchen. Go 40 miles up the road from me and and the inspector there will let you set up road side all you want. Pretty much you are at the mercy of your inspector.

Pavone Bros. BBQ
12-09-2013, 02:29 PM
You need to let them, the health department, know what you are doing. Different regulations for different jobs. If you are cooking on site the regulations are different than those controlling a restaurant. The state has different regs for this stuff, ask your health department and they can get you the info you need. If you pick up supplies on the day of the cook you don't need a commissary, (at least to please my inspectors).

DHoskins
12-09-2013, 03:59 PM
Thanks for all the info. It certainly sounds like there are "grey areas" open to inspector interpretation. I finally got someone at the health dept. that was able to give me some straight answers. Based on the info i received, a mobile unit is required to have 4 permanent, non-porous, easy cleanable walls. Anything else can only be used with a temporary event permit. Sounds like that's the avenue I'm going to use for now, though it really limits opportunities based on cook time. Thanks again for the replys!

FlavorSavor
12-19-2013, 11:39 AM
I just went through all this. Main thing to remember is to tell the inspectors what they want to hear [wink].

I can email you all the regulations if you want/need them.

HBMTN
12-19-2013, 05:30 PM
Main thing to remember is to tell the inspectors what they want to hear [wink].

.



Beware about doing this if you have a desire to start a larger operation, getting caught in a lie to the HD could cause big problems. One other downside to the temp permit is that you must cook on site and can not transport at all.

sdbbq1234
12-30-2013, 12:26 PM
I just went through all this. Main thing to remember is to tell the inspectors what they want to hear [wink].

I can email you all the regulations if you want/need them.


pm sent.

wallace

Allgrain
01-19-2014, 11:08 AM
FWIW - I spoke with a VA inspector a couple of weeks ago. He said the rules around temp permits were under review/revision and would most likely be getting tougher. In a round about way he indicated that getting four walls in some fashion (fixed or truck) was the future in VA for anyone doing service/consessions on a regular basis.

Pole D
01-19-2014, 07:59 PM
Just don't come down to NC. The HD here is ridiculous. At least in Wake county.

va_connoisseur
01-22-2014, 06:52 AM
FWIW - I spoke with a VA inspector a couple of weeks ago. He said the rules around temp permits were under review/revision and would most likely be getting tougher. In a round about way he indicated that getting four walls in some fashion (fixed or truck) was the future in VA for anyone doing service/consessions on a regular basis.

That's unfortunate. I wonder when they are scheduled to take effect. I'll have to calll