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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 12-24-2018, 07:31 AM   #61
ynotfehc
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Potlucks and church meals are protected in Mn, because you are assuming the risk by eating the food, is my understsnding.
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Old 12-24-2018, 07:34 AM   #62
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I'm late to the party, but here are my two cents on the matter.


You asked the question, so don't get mad at my response;

Without being incorporated as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), having food service liability insurance, all the proper permits, licenses, certifications, and required inspections, that you are taking a huge financial risk without limits.

No one should engage in the food business without being incorporated as a legitimate business. Without being incorporated you and all of your assets owned by you and your family are up for grabs in a lawsuit. Incorporating separates you and your personal assets from those of the recognized corporate entity. In a lawsuit they can sue the corporation but cannot come after you unless you blatantly caused harm as an individual.

If you are planning on cooking for money, even for a friend you should be aware of the laws and the risks involved. By ignoring these and not investigating the legal requirements for any event, you are putting yourself at a great risk. Ignorance of the laws and regulations are not a defense, in fact it will just help to build a stronger case against you if something should go wrong. More importantly, something doesn't actually have to go wrong, one only needs to claim they got ill from your food.

First: Are you incorporated as a Limited Liability Corporation?

Second: Will you be operating within State, Local, and Health Department regulations?
Do you have a business license, a food handlers permit, and will you prepare the food in a health department approved and inspected commercial kitchen?

Third: Do you have the proper liability insurance to cover you and the patrons?

Fourth and lastly... are you Serve-Safe Certified?


Be aware that without these qualifications and being fully covered with insurance, you are taking a huge huge risk both personally and financially.

Without proper procedure and requirements, there are too many risks and not enough rewards. What legal ramifications are you willing to endure should this become an issue of someone getting ill?


Trying to sneak past the "government" can lead to way too many bad things for you. This is a risk that anyone with common sense should never consider taking.


How much of your personal assets are you willing to risk due to foodborne illness issues should they occur?


Or if someone claims they became ill sometime after eating your food. If a civil suit is brought against you because of this claim, you could lose your home, your savings, everything you own, and even your investments.

It might be difficult to prove with a single case, but what if someone who handles the food in the chain accidentally contaminates something. You will have more than one case from the event. Then you have an unlicensed food handler, who is not using a state approved and inspected kitchen, and who has failed to get all the required permits, certifications, licenses, and local inspections.

It's not just the fines and penalties from the state and local authorities for operating illegally, but when you have a civil suit filed the tables turn. Just the fact that you ignored all the required permits, licenses, certifications, and inspections are stacked against you. Couple that with many states who do not elect judges, but rather politically appoint them; then you can have an inexperienced judge in law who has their own interpretation or opinion of the law to deal with. Some of these appointed judges do not know the law and will make decisions based on personal opinions.

As stated above the extreme fines and penalties imposed by the state, county, and local authorities can't be argued in a court of law, ignorance of them just isn't a feasible defense. Then you have the legal fees, which can be exorbitant, even if they can't prove the case. This is why many corporations find it easier just to settle out of court than run the legal gamut.

You also have many corporations that have tried to fight a case of stupidity in court and have lost millions trying to win. Look at the case of a patron who ordered hot coffee and drank it while operating a motor vehicle. Consequently they spilled hot coffee on themselves as a direct result of their own personal action. Yet a good lawyer put the blame on the corporation, and they successfully sued for over a million dollars. Common sense does not prevail in a litigious society.

My intent is not to discourage you, but to point out the possible ramifications of this type of event without the proper "coverage", "licenses", "certifications" and "permits".

Some think they have a legal defense because:

Some would say that they are doing this as a hired hand and they should be covered under the companies / organizations insurance policy. Not true, unless you are getting a weekly paycheck and paying into workman's compensation, disability insurance, state and federal taxes, then you are not an employee. If you are paying these taxes you could be considered an employee, but you could also be held personally liable as a co-defendant because you used your personal equipment to cook the food.

Secondly if you are using your own equipment to cook with, many states view this as a sub-contractor status where YOU are responsible for all of your own permits, licenses, and liability insurance. So again, you have legal fees to defend a lawsuit, coupled with fines and penalties imposed by the state, county, and local authorities.

Most importantly, if you do this for a friend you trust, they may not sue you, but then you have to worry about the many others who will be in attendance. Some might be looking for an easy way to make a quick buck. How luck do you feel?

But yet others will claim being free from everything because they are selling food by the tray. However unless you are legally licensed to sell cold / frozen foods, then you have lost control of the food until it was served;
You are responsible to properly prepare, maintain, and/or serve food fit for human consumption.
You are responsible to properly take the temperature of the food at the time of service.
You are responsible to ensure all persons were wearing gloves while prepping and serving the food.


It may be a one in a millon case that someone becomes ill, but we live in a litigious society today. People make false claims all the time in an effort to sue for personal gain. If you are prepared to risk it ALL then go ahead. Otherwise walk away until they do the necessary diligence to cover themselves.


This is a totally different thing than just cooking great BBQ for your family in your back yard for personal friends.

If you want to go into business then take the appropriate steps. If not the be prepared to accept all possible consequences.

It only takes one person to claim you made them ill......

Last edited by IamMadMan; 12-24-2018 at 08:48 AM..
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:21 AM   #63
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Wow - nice write up from IamMadMan. Not sure if it's "sticky worthy"-might be since this subject only comes up a bit less than "is this drum ok for a UDS?"

It should not be taken as raining on anyone's parade or dreams- just good solid information to consider before you set out on this path.

And "it only takes one person" sadly applies to all sort of bad actors in all sort of situations these days.

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Old 12-24-2018, 10:06 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuco59 View Post
Wow - nice write up from IamMadMan. Not sure if it's "sticky worthy"-might be since this subject only comes up a bit less than "is this drum ok for a UDS?"
It comes up quite a bit actually (and it is indeed a great write up), and I guarantee it's crossed the mind of almost every one of us at some point or another when friends and family say "your barbecue is really good, you should sell it"...which I'm sure happens all the time based on all the great food pics that get posted here.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:12 AM   #65
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I wonder about fundraiser people at churches and VFWs type situations? I think they are supposed to, but I doubt they do.
I've found this varies by county. If I remember correctly, around here if the group has 501c3 status then they are exempt from health department inspection and licensing, but are only allowed to sell food once per month for no more than two consecutive days.

I think there are caveats to this such as you have to prepare and serve at the same location, no pre-cooking/packaging. I also assume that even though the local HD doesn't require inspection, you're still responsible for any real or perceived harm incurred.

Bummer to have that hanging over your head, I just like feeding people.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:56 AM   #66
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IamMadMan put it just as I would but with far more detailed knowledge. Unless you take the proper steps to protect yourself it is a risk wildly out of proportion to the potential reward.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:27 PM   #67
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OK, not on topic (exactly) but looking to see if anyone might sell er a pop with a bite of brisket, in Key West, son is getting married there end of January on the beach, not a huge wedding, maybe 25,
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:53 PM   #68
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What do you do when someone gets sick from something you made?
Coming up next, "Jokes: How To Recognize Them So You Don't Look Silly For Taking Them Seriously". Stay tuned!
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:10 PM   #69
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An LLC is not a corporation. You get some of the benefits of those who are incorporated without actually being incorporated. LLC stands for Limited Liability Company (not Corporation).

With that said, I don't want to take away from any of the great information posted above. You guys are doing a good job.

All the "red tape" isn't about stealing business away from other restaurants...it's about public safety. It's when people don't pay the price of admission, like those that do this legally, that businesses might get upset. The argument is that Joe down the street isn't going to hurt your business...but Joe, Jan, Authur, Bob, Juan, Consuella, Fred, Mike, Mark, Jacob, Mitch, Vernon, Delilla, BriAnn, Daniel, Tabitha, Kimberly, Elizabeth, Tonya, Tabitha, and Steve might take away some of their business. Otherwise...the hoops you have to jump through are for food safety.

The issue of people getting sick is serious. All the time I hear "it only takes one person". Well...seriously...it's going to take more than one. One person complaining goes absolutely no where. If you're in this business legally, you might get a visit from an inspector...but nothing is going to happen. It's when 100 people get sick all on the same day, and your food happens to be the common denominator, is when you need to be worried.

Also, don't be fooled with the amount of money you can make in this game when you sell part-time. Most of the time you're selling at the same price that a restaurant might. But at the end of the day you really only have to cover your food cost with the remaining money being pure profit. The restaurant down the street has to also cover food cost...and electricity (my bill averages over $2k per month), payroll, FICA, insurance (multiple types), lease/mortgage payments, advertising, and all the other little upkeep items that pop up daily. So yeah...you may think you could make a killing because you sold $500 worth of barbecue on Saturday, but you may also fail to realize the real expense of being in business once you join the real game.

I can see a part-timer, especially an illegal one, profiting well over 60-70% of their total sales. The average restaurant profits less than 10% of sales. Keep that in mind.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:18 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
An LLC is not a corporation. You get some of the benefits of those who are incorporated without actually being incorporated. LLC stands for Limited Liability Company (not Corporation).

The two main benefits of a LLC are:
1. Taxes (easier to do as an LLC than as a corporate entity)
2. Limited (personal) liability

The second one is the reason most small biz owners go LLC out the gate and the first one is why they don’t all start as S Corps


To summarize what everyone has said:
Starting a business from the ground up is all about minimizing risk, maximizing profits and above all..cash flow

If you start a business on a platform built without regards to minimizing risk, then you are building a house of cards that WILL fail..it’s just a matter of time
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Old 12-24-2018, 05:51 PM   #71
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Coming up next, "Jokes: How To Recognize Them So You Don't Look Silly For Taking Them Seriously". Stay tuned!
Oh good, I can’t wait.
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Old 12-24-2018, 08:28 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothBoarBBQ View Post
In my state there is no legal way to sell prepared food from your house. You'll need a commercial (commissary) kitchen to prep the food, wash your dishes, etc.. If you want to cook on a smoker you'll need to get that certified by the health department as well, and you'll need to have it in an area where it can be completely screened off.
This may be different for baked goods, but my mother got her home kitchen certified by the NC health department and is able to sell her cakes and breads. One of the main things they looked for were pets in the home. If you have pets, you can't get certified in NC.
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Old 12-25-2018, 02:38 AM   #73
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This may be different for baked goods, but my mother got her home kitchen certified by the NC health department and is able to sell her cakes and breads. One of the main things they looked for were pets in the home. If you have pets, you can't get certified in NC.
Yeah, baked goods are given quite a bit of leeway under what they call the "Cottage Food" laws. This thread was about selling BBQ out of the house, and for that purpose a home kitchen isn't going to get certified.
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Old 12-25-2018, 06:42 AM   #74
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Some extremely valuable info on this thread. Makes me ponder about the comp world I’ve lived in and realize just how much of a “grey” area it is. There’s been many times I’ve seen really bad food handling to the point that there is no way I would want to be judging that food. Probably just a matter of time until a big lawsuit results from comps.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:48 AM   #75
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Oh good, I can’t wait.
Ok, I admit it. I laughed, that was a good one.
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