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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 04-25-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
georgessmokepit
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Default Catering gig, NSF 3 compartment sink?

I'm building a BBQ catering trailer with a 300 gallon and a 500 gallon propane tank, and attempting to get into the catering business. I know each state regulates their own health code, but as far as the 3 compartment sink goes, what have you guys done? Did you build your own or did you order? If you build your own, how did you enclose the bottom of it to hide pipes and tanks? It has to be NSF certified (by most inspectors) so I'm curious as to what I could do? Any suggestions?
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Unread 04-25-2014, 02:00 PM   #2
Chuckwagonbbqco
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Food Service Codes in California are State Codes enforced by County Public Health Depts and questions asked in different counties get different answers----depending on that county's enforcement. It is hard to suggest anything to anyone unless they live in the same county--------but here are things that I have found here:
Health Dept wants to know exactly where the water in the potable water tank came from, and it must come from a kitchen or building that has been inspected---seems stupid when the whole city has the same water supply--but it is enforced here.
Waste water tank must have 1 1/2 times the volume of the potable water tank----seems stupid to me----the water does not multiply as it goes through the sink.
Most inspectors also require a "hand Washing" sink----separate from the dish washing sink
Some inspectors say that a three tub sink is not needed if disposable chafing trays and throw away utensils are used
Some inspectors say that the 3 tub sink only needs to be big enough to wash the biggest item that you are washing----so if using disposable items----just big enough to wash knives

best thing to do is talk to a local inspector
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Unread 04-25-2014, 08:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgessmokepit View Post
I'm building a BBQ catering trailer with a 300 gallon and a 500 gallon propane tank, and attempting to get into the catering business. I know each state regulates their own health code, but as far as the 3 compartment sink goes, what have you guys done? Did you build your own or did you order? If you build your own, how did you enclose the bottom of it to hide pipes and tanks? It has to be NSF certified (by most inspectors) so I'm curious as to what I could do? Any suggestions?
If the sink has to be NSF does the smoker?
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Unread 04-26-2014, 02:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgessmokepit View Post
I'm building a BBQ catering trailer with a 300 gallon and a 500 gallon propane tank, and attempting to get into the catering business. I know each state regulates their own health code, but as far as the 3 compartment sink goes, what have you guys done? Did you build your own or did you order? If you build your own, how did you enclose the bottom of it to hide pipes and tanks? It has to be NSF certified (by most inspectors) so I'm curious as to what I could do? Any suggestions?
Each State is different and quite often the differences in code varies from county to county. There are also municipality codes to deal with sometimes as well.

As for NSF sinks we were told (KS) that they have to be commercially produced with "filled" corners/seams (i.e. no 90 degree intersections between surfaces. We didn't enclose the bottom. It just makes it harder to clean underneath.

The only advice I can give on the smoker built from tanks is to check with your HD before you start anything. Some HD's will not approve these types anymore.
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Unread 04-26-2014, 04:14 PM   #5
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It really depends on the state. Each state has their own regulations and from what I have found out, it really depends on the inspector you come across. Each inspector is different and enforces different portions of the code. Most states from my understand will still approve recycled tanks. The state that I live in now (MD) will not, and there are a few others as well. But, I'm military and this isn't a permanent residence. I will be moving in the next year or so to get everything started. I was just curious on the set up of the 3 compartment sink. I have a plan for the single compartment sink, but not the other. So you guys just left the bottom open revealing everything?
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Unread 04-26-2014, 05:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgessmokepit View Post
It really depends on the state. Each state has their own regulations and from what I have found out, it really depends on the inspector you come across. Each inspector is different and enforces different portions of the code. Most states from my understand will still approve recycled tanks. The state that I live in now (MD) will not, and there are a few others as well. But, I'm military and this isn't a permanent residence. I will be moving in the next year or so to get everything started. I was just curious on the set up of the 3 compartment sink. I have a plan for the single compartment sink, but not the other. So you guys just left the bottom open revealing everything?
The main reason we left the bottom exposed, on our NSF sink, was because the HD inspector (when we asked him) asked, "And what is your plan for keeping the floor underneath the enclosure clean?" We took that as a strong indication that he would be "inspecting" that area intensely if it was enclosed. Therefore we left it open.

It is easier to clean under the sink now and our grease trap is also located there and maintenance on it is much easier with the "open" construction. But that was just our experience. The inspector did NOT require any specific means of construction.

I would suggest working very closely with your HD, wherever you are, since they can make your experience very good or bad depending on their interpretations of the code. And yes, unfortunately anywhere you go the inspector is allowed to enforce the codes with their own interpretations.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 10:18 AM   #7
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you'll most likely need nsf smokers, and a NSF sink by those smokers to wash your hands
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Unread 05-10-2014, 09:34 AM   #8
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To go along with what Chuckwagon says, in Ventura county CA, our 3 compartment sink also has to have side drain boards on each side equal to the size of the sink compartments. He also mentioned the separate hand wash sink, there has to be a partition between it & the main sink.
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