I am not certain I am grasping what occurred. If you had taken this job, isn't it probable that these people would not have gotten sick? Were there multiple caterers doing this job? I would definitely recommend purchasing insurance, but in most cases here in Ohio, you can work either with no permit (if the guests are not paying a fee and all food is prepared on-site), or with a temporary permit (the guests are paying a fee and the food is being prepared on-site.) The key here is, YOU ARE PREPARING ALL FOOD ON-SITE. A great deal of food-borne illness comes from the transitional temps food often experiences in transport. Your kitchen can be the bestest, most cleanest kitchen in the state, but if you leave the ribs in 90 degree heat in tupperware in the back of a step-van for 5 hours, you might have illnesses. When I get a temp. permit, they always check:
1) How am I keeping cold food cold ( Coolers with plenty of ice)
2) How am I keeping hot food hot (Upright on the pit)
3) Thermo Calibration
4) Handwash station
5) Wash , rinse, sanitize tubs.
I Also think, in response to Butts, to which he so eloquently apologized, that the "legitimate" caterers are the ones who are usually "lowballing." I cook two meats, two sides, dessert for $15.00 /person. Smokey Bones provides similar (leftovers) for about $7.00! Difference is, mine is fresh, and I come with it! Go get em! Woody
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker -18"
Weber One Touch Gold
Klose 84" x 24" Mobile W/ 24" x 30" Upright
Rickenbacker 4004 Cii -Rickenbacker 4003-09
Rickenbacker 4001 - RIckenbacker 4001c64
Rickenbacker Fretless 4003-08- Fender P-Bass
Warwick Fretless Corvette-Gibson EB-3