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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Old 04-06-2021, 01:51 PM   #1
shnmclr
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Join Date: 10-12-14
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Default Getting started selling Q I make at home

I'm trying to supplement my income so I thought I would start selling Pulled Pork to my neighbors that I make at home. My thinking is sell by the pound. I am in Tennessee and when I inquire about paperwork with the health department to do this, they tell me I need a 3 bay sink, separate food storage for what I plan to sell, no pets allowed, etc... I must not be asking the right questions. Certainly I don't have to have a commercial kitchen to sell BBQ I make in my backyard. But I'm at square one and looking for some help from those of you more in the know. I thank you for any advice you can share with me.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:16 PM   #2
airedale
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Originally Posted by shnmclr View Post
... Certainly I don't have to have a commercial kitchen to sell BBQ I make in my backyard. ...
Probably you do. In our state there is sort of a "church ladies potluck" exemption to the health code. You might inquire in that direction. But getting free reign to poison your neighbors? Probably won't happen. Zero upside for the bureaucrats and very big downside.
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:31 PM   #3
Cook
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Actually you are asking all the right questions...and you're getting all the right answers.

If you move forward without listening to the guidelines, you'll be going about it illegally.

To not know your state regulations, and to be surprised by the most basic of requirements, shows your lack of readiness. You need to study up & then start the process over.

And it sounds as though, based on the examples you gave, that you're lucky they even consider it ok to cook at home. Barbecue doesn't fall under the TN Cottage Law so you 'should' be required to follow the same regulations as restaurants. It sounds as though all you need to do is meet a minimum of those regulations. Count your lucky stars if that's the case...you're lucky.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:39 AM   #4
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Not just a commercial kitchen. You will also need insurance, a business license, a way to track and pay sales taxes, and probably an LLC or Corp....Unless you want to go at it illegally and potentially lose everything over a few hundred bucks a month.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:44 AM   #5
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OR.... you can just give it away but accept "donations"
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:46 AM   #6
shnmclr
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Thanks for everyones input. I would never want to sell stuff unless everything was above board. I guess I never realized everything involved.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:57 AM   #7
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Thanks for everyones input. I would never want to sell stuff unless everything was above board. I guess I never realized everything involved.
It's a big deal, primarily because of public health concerns. That's the bold print.

The fine print reason for the requirements is called in business "barriers to entry." People who have made these investments don't want it to be easy for competition to enter the market. So they support regulations that make entry expensive. In our state this includes a requirement to have a "certified food protection manager" on staff, though this can be the establishment owner. Maintaining certification requires four hours of refresher training every three years.
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:22 AM   #8
kurtsara
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Quote:
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It's a big deal, primarily because of public health concerns. That's the bold print.

The fine print reason for the requirements is called in business "barriers to entry." People who have made these investments don't want it to be easy for competition to enter the market. So they support regulations that make entry expensive. In our state this includes a requirement to have a "certified food protection manager" on staff, though this can be the establishment owner. Maintaining certification requires four hours of refresher training every three years.
Why shouldn't the food trucks or anyone else selling food not have to meet the same requirements that a restaurant does?
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:42 AM   #9
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Why shouldn't the food trucks or anyone else selling food not have to meet the same requirements that a restaurant does?
Because there may be some requirements that are irrelevant, unnecessary or that can be safely modified or relaxed for a small volume producer with a limited product line. I don't know. Requirements are handled at the local and state level so there are hundreds of variations and trying to generalize is not reasonable IMO. Also Google "regulatory capture."

Having worked on a couple of national standards and code committees I can tell you for sure that financially interested companies participate aggressively. For food, my expectation would be that food sellers will be lobbying tenaciously with your exact argument. Suppliers to the industry will be lobbying to get their various expensive gadgets onto the required kit list. Laws, sausages, standards, and codes development is a very messy and sometimes disgusting process.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:59 AM   #10
thirdeye
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Wyoming has one of the most relaxed set of regulations for cooking and serving food at what are referred to as "traditional events" which are weddings, birthdays, funerals, picnics, pot lucks, charity fundraisers or business sponsored events. There are no inspections, no permits, no labeling and foods can be cooked in a home kitchen. However..... the one stipulation is that guests are non-paying, meaning the event is not for profit. If the same event was catered by a business, they have to have all permits, approved facilities etc.

http://wyagric.state.wy.us/images/st...nalfoodact.pdf

It is okay to pay someone to rent their cooker, furnish charcoal or wood, or to provide the actual labor for cooking. About the farthest I've seen this stretched is a guy that smokes butts, turkeys or ribs over a weekend for a group of "friends". The food is treated as a group purchase ahead of time, like 2-cases of ribs at the market price. So no money is exchanged for cooked food, and there is no mark-up on the meat.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:17 AM   #11
cowboyupbbq
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There was a local bbq guy in Kansas who used the “selling to friends” angle, and eventually the health department questioned the number of “friends” he had. After seeing his kitchen once, they did the public a good service.
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