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bbqjoe 07-15-2006 02:06 PM

On catering from the home
Grill's catering effort draws a rebuff over proper permits


Saturday, July 8, 2006 8:45 PM PDT

The Daily News

BULLHEAD CITY - It's not legal for someone to cater out of their home. That's the message Rachel Patterson, environmental health manager for Mohave County, wants to get out to the public.
Patterson was reacting to a story that appeared in the Daily News on Thursday, regarding the sudden closing of the Colorado Grill and Catering Company in the Riverview Mall Monday night due to financial problems.

Having lost access to their restaurant kitchen, owners Chris and Shannon Moore were attempting to fulfill their catering commitments Wednesday by cooking out of the kitchen of their Riviera home.

“They're not supposed to be doing that out of their home and we've been trying to get ahold of them,” Patterson said, “but all of our contact information is too old now.”

“Now we're getting calls from people who have permits that had to go through the process ... you're not supposed to cook out of your home for the public. They have to have a licensed kitchen.”

Patterson said there's no way a home kitchen can be licensed for catering purposes and it's not possible to get a waiver to temporarily use a home kitchen for catering.

“Usually, if someone wants to do catering events, then they can get a commissary,” such as “a community kitchen that's been permitted by us,” she said.

“This particular couple didn't discuss this with us. We're getting phone calls,” with people asking, “why did they get to do it and I didn't?” Patterson said.

“I don't want the wrong information to get out and people automatically think it's OK to cook out of their home. They need to contact the Health Department,” she said.

“We've stopped that,” Chris Moore said Friday in response. “We've ceased all catering from our house.”

The owner of Panache Catering Company at Colorado Place has offered her facilities to the Moores. Belinda Wileman “used to be my opening sous-chef,” Moore said.

“She said she would be glad to let us use her space to fulfill the rest of our catering commitments while we're kind of examining our options,” he said.

“We're trying to farm as many (catering jobs) to her to take over as possible and then the ones that she can't handle, we'll do.”

Moore has three catering jobs scheduled for over the next two weeks.

Arlin_MacRae 07-15-2006 04:55 PM

That sucks...

The_Kapn 07-15-2006 06:44 PM

I think the FL statutes even specifically prohibit the use of a home kitchen. Chad will correct me if I am wrong.

I guess my question is why?

IF a person creates a kitchen within their residence that meets the full requirements, seems to me that they should be "good to go".

I have been told that you can buy a portable building, put it in your back yard, equip it legally, and get certified. Makes no sense to me.

Anyone have any idea why it is just a blanket prohibition on home based commercial kitchens?

Just curious :lol:


bbqjoe 07-15-2006 08:03 PM

I'm not one hundred percent certain on this, but I believe it has to do with the fact that the kitchen would also be used for residential purposes.
You wouldn't allow kids, dogs, or unapproved people in a commercial kitchen, but these things would be present in your residential kitchen. There are also a hundred other reasons I'm sure.
Construction materials, floor sinks, fire systems........etc.

Just my 50/25

kcquer 07-16-2006 06:26 AM

I've specifically read that in some jurisdictions, it can be in your home, but it cannot be the primary kitchen for the residence for the reasons Joe has stated above.
A properly equipped kitchen in you basement or garage is fine, just not the kitchen where you fix your morning coffee (as I said, in some states).

I'm almost certain the above variation of "the rules" came from Minion in the NW.

BigDaddy 07-16-2006 09:07 AM

In Iowa it's different county by county. The two I've lived in both will allow you to cater from your home IF you can get your kitchen inspected and certified. Which you never can because you need a three compartment sink, a closed off kitchen with no pets, and various other stipulations. It's all in the name of food safety and to cover yourself in the event of illness derived from your food.


backyardchef 07-17-2006 09:17 AM


Originally Posted by bbqjoe
Grill's catering effort draws a rebuff over proper permits


He writes about catering when not on tour.......

CharlieBeasley 07-17-2006 09:38 AM

NY has some weird regulations but it boils down to it must be seperated by a wall from sleeping or family use roome like a living room. This would allow controled cleanleness. (But its OK to put 3 old sinks in a trailer in the back yard?) BS to contol state colected taxs (ops that sliped out)

Smoker 07-17-2006 11:40 AM

I guarantee that my home kitchen is cleaner than 99% of restaurant kitchens. And, EVERYONE who cooks in my kitchen has seen a Dr and has been tested for TB, HEP and other communicable diseases.

billm 07-20-2006 02:40 PM

I ran into this myself for a park district cook..i could cook out side under thier ez up but not in my own yard/kitchen..typical buraucratic nonsense

NorthernQ 08-08-2006 09:20 PM

Here in Ontario in Canada, the same rule applies ... no catering from your home kitchen. But you can have a commercial kitchen in your home provided it has a separate entrance from outside and can be closed off from the house. Call it a loophole or ? but the health inspectors have no right to enter a private home but they can enter a licensed premise for inspection purposes.

HoDeDo 08-09-2006 08:24 PM

We have to have a separate entrance..... so - it could be in your basement, but it has to have an outside entrance - so that folks in the residence dont trample through the commecial area.

They have a similar requirment for licensed day cares as well for the same reasons....

Westexbbq 08-09-2006 08:54 PM

Please don't tell anyone, especially Crosby, Stills and Nash, that I will be smoking some brisket, ribs, chicken and a pork butt for my upcoming company picnic after Labor Day.
(from mia casa)

Anonymous mod

chad 08-10-2006 12:10 PM

I'll just add that none of this is new information or regulation. Some counties or municipalities have some varience but generally you cannot cater from a home kitchen...some exceptions probably exist for cookies, cakes, etc. but if you handle raw meat and other hazardous foods you must work from a certified kitchen.

Now, this can be a church kitchen or school cafeteria (private schools are good choices) assuming they are compliant with local and/or state licensing.

Yeah, it sucks...but that's the way it is. I'm fortunate to have a church kitchen (inspected) to use and this works out well since most of my catering is for the church (and my previous church). My previous church had a school and child care facility and so the kitchen was fully licensed. My current church is "church kitchen" certified...but that will probably be changing soon to fully certified.

Even if you have a spiffy concession or catering trailer with sinks, etc. you STILL need a commissary (certified) for cleanup, potable water, grey water drainage, etc. You also need a covered area with "durable" suface (ie. cement, asphalt, etc.) area for cleaning the rig.

Nobody said catering was easy!!!

My perspective is from Florida and specifically Pinellas County. Other areas will differ, but not much.

Range Rattler 09-17-2006 05:53 PM

Certificate of Occupancy

In San Antonio, We require you to apply for a certificate of Occupancy licence at the Buildings and Development Center. Only commercially zoned properties are eligible and are inspected by Buildings, Plumbing, Health, Eletrical,
Signs and Fire Deapartments.

As a health inspector, I can not licence someone's home for a catering licence. It has to be zoned commercially. In addition, we require a 3-compartment sink with 2 self-draining drainboards, a designated handwashing sink and a mop sink and or curbed sink for disposing of dirty water.:icon_shy

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