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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 01-30-2014, 04:26 PM   #1
BenBarrBQue
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Default Catering, Farmer's Market, etc...

So, I'm trying to get licensed to serve BBQ at a local farmers' market this summer, but I need to jump through the hoops of the health department. They're telling me that I need a commercial, brick-and-mortar kitchen in order to get approved. So, I need an exhaust system, ovens, etc...BUT, if I'm not doing any cooking in the actual kitchen (all of it is outside on my pit, right?), then why the hell do I need the oven, stove, exhaust system, etc???? Can't I get away with three sinks and a hand washing sink and a fridge???? Anyone have any thoughts about this??? Thanks!
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Unread 01-30-2014, 08:00 PM   #2
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Are you cooking off site and bringing it ready to serve? If so, this would be the reason as it has to be done in approved facility. Now, if you plan to cook on site, a temporary food permit would be your best bet (if MA offers that).
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Unread 01-30-2014, 08:15 PM   #3
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unless you cook on site, you have few options but to get a brick-n-mortar kitchen that is approved by health department. you need to look for a commercial kitchen somewhere.
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Unread 01-30-2014, 08:53 PM   #4
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What are MA regulations on smokers? Are you able to cook on a smoker outside? Are you only selling meat?
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Unread 01-31-2014, 07:10 AM   #5
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When you fill out your temp vending permit, tell them your cooking onsite. You tell them you show up at 2 am and start cooking. Ask for a inspection JUST BEFORE opening for the day. As far as they know you WERE there cooking all nite.
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Unread 02-11-2014, 03:30 PM   #6
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Most states require a Commissary Agreement if you dont have a commercial kitchen. You have to find a commercial kitchen that will sign off on your catering/vending company, implying that you will use their kitchen (even if you dont).
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Unread 02-11-2014, 04:18 PM   #7
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It has been my experience, from having worked on all sides of the regulatory equation, that the more you fight the requirements, the more money and time you will lose. Rather than look for workarounds, figure out the costs of renting a commissary for a couple hours a week, meet the regulations and do it legally. Play the game by the rules, it saves you loads of heart ache.
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Unread 02-23-2014, 11:18 AM   #8
Smoke House Moe
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Ask the HD again, and let them know you will be cooking outside under a canopy tent.

For farmers markets in MN (one of the strictest HD states) I can use three bucket system (wash, rinse, sanitize), chafing dishes, and hot box cambro's.
I use a temp-food stand license, which allows the three bucket system and does not require an exhaust hood, etc.

Every state is different though.
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Unread 02-24-2014, 10:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
It has been my experience, from having worked on all sides of the regulatory equation, that the more you fight the requirements, the more money and time you will lose. Rather than look for workarounds, figure out the costs of renting a commissary for a couple hours a week, meet the regulations and do it legally. Play the game by the rules, it saves you loads of heart ache.
I couldnt agree more Landarc, smile and do what they want and dont try to figure out why. Most of the time they dont know either, but they have the book.
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