Originally Posted by Ford
Capacity would be my concern. If you just sell pulled pork maybe it would be OK. But without smoke it's hard to convince people it's really BBQ. And if you want to sell more there's no space. And sausage and hot dogs have a lot of preservitives in them whereas fresh BBQ doesn't. And cart cleanup will be a bigger job for sure with BBQ.
Yeah, capacity and cleanup would be a concern. I'm sure the lack of preservatives would be the HD's concern (still somewhat maddening that they'd rather you sell food stuffed with chemicals that's not fresh at all and is mislabeled as BBQ when it's not).
I absolutely won't sell something that's not smoked and call it BBQ. That's what is currently happening here with existing carts and what I'm trying to get around.
I sent an email to the HD and we'll see what we can do. If the cart approach gets axed, we'll continue with another approach.
Here is a copy of the email I sent:
Hi [HD person],
I appreciate you getting the Food Regulations booklet and applications out to me so quickly. We spoke briefly on the phone and I wanted to go over some general ideas we had to get some feedback.
As we discussed, we are looking to start a Mobile BBQ Vending venture here in Lynchburg. We are still very much in the exploratory phase, trying to find the best approach. We are exploring both an enclosed trailer approach and a cart-type approach. We have a couple of promising options to use a commissary, so we've begun exploring more closely a cart-type approach. Reason being, that it would be far more cost effective in the inital start-up costs as well as the ongoing overhead. We'd like to be able to provide high quality, fresh, and safe pork BBQ sandwiches at an affordable cost for consumers.
You mentioned, on the phone, that you typically allow only pre-packaged BBQ products to be sold from vending carts. I'd like to explain the general methods that we are considering, in the hopes that we can work together to find an approach that will ensure a safe product.
Our procedures would be somewhat similar to existing units that sell commercial, pre-packaged BBQ, but we'd like to make fresh BBQ for sandwiches. Our hope is that we can provide a safe product that is also fresher and of higher quality than what consumers currently have access to.
Our plan is to:
1. Use shoulder/boston butt cuts of pork from an approved supplier, refrigerated at a safe temperature until it's time to cook.
2. Cook the pork to an internal temperature of 200 degrees F, using a smoker at the commissary.
3. The pork will then be "pulled".
4. Pork will then be labeled, dated, and refrigerated overnight at a temperature below 40 degrees.
5. Utensils properly cleaned, sanitized, and stored for future use.
6. In the morning, the pork will be reheated to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.
7. The pork will be transferred to covered steamer pans on the mobile unit, where it will be held at a temperature of at least 140 degrees.
8. The pork will be sold on a bun for consumption.
9. With our goal being to offer a high-quality, fresh, and most importantly, safe product, all pork will be sold or discarded within 3 days of being cooked (while being properly refrigerated each afternoon and properly reheated each morning).
Obviously, these are very general plans and I appreciate any input to help improve the procedures to ensure high quality and safety. I just wanted to give you an idea of what we have in mind.
As mentioned, our goal is be able to provide the public with high quality, fresh, and safe BBQ sandwiches in a convenient manner. I appreciate your help thus far and hope you'll continue to help us find a way to make this happen.
I look forward to your feedback and will keep you apprised of any developments on our end.