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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 05-26-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
Pa_BBQ
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Default Concession Trailer?

I have started the lengthy process of getting a permit and food license and know now why so many say to heck with it, at least here in Pa.

I was getting no help. and nothing but the run around over the phone, so actually drove to the health department. They sent me to the Chamber of Business who tried to send me back to the health department.

I finally got some phone numbers and spent all afternoon calling and finally got to leave a message with the health inspector so guess I am gaining.

I know I need a dedicated place to prepare food, I will be a mobile unit and will have a canopy to cover my Meadow Creek TS120.
I believe the biggest concern is a dedicated place to prepare food.
I know I need a 4 bay sink, refrigerator or coolers, and work tables.

Since this is a new venture and I already own a 2010 CarMate trailer I am hoping this will work to get me started.
6X12 Carmate Trailer

I found this information Checklist for mobile food facilities and it states

A. Floors, Walls and Ceilings
a. Floors, walls and ceilings must be smooth and easily cleanable. b. Outer openings shall be no larger than necessary to carry out the food
operation.

I figure if I paint the walls and put a vinyl floor in this should comply and give me what is needed.

I hate to go out and take a beating selling this trailer, then buy a vendor trailer before I even get started.

I even wonder if this trailer could not be modified more if needed.

Any thoughts?
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Unread 05-26-2011, 08:10 PM   #2
apple7769
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Get the heath regs and read them.
The first contact with the HD will want to make your pull out your hair.
Be nice.
Ask lots of questions after you have read the heath regs.
This is not a cheap process. Somethings you have to do. NSF equipment, safe serve education, cleaning procedures. Insurance..
Try to make the HD understand you are serious about doing the right thing.

Good luck in your venture.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
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We have dealt with HD's across the U.S. and in most cases not only met their requirements, but exceeded them. What will you do for fresh and waste water, hot water etc.?
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Unread 05-26-2011, 09:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple7769 View Post
Get the heath regs and read them.
The first contact with the HD will want to make your pull out your hair.
Be nice.
Ask lots of questions after you have read the heath regs.
This is not a cheap process. Somethings you have to do. NSF equipment, safe serve education, cleaning procedures. Insurance..
Try to make the HD understand you are serious about doing the right thing.

Good luck in your venture.
Well our county Health Department did not know anything, and I was standing in front of them. So yes I wanted to pull my hair out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by getyourrubonbbq View Post
We have dealt with HD's across the U.S. and in most cases not only met their requirements, but exceeded them. What will you do for fresh and waste water, hot water etc.?
4 bay portable sink will have fresh, hot and waste water.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
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Being in PA, I've never had an issue with the health department, they've always answered all of my questions, and helped make sure I was on the right track with everything in getting both my catering truck and now my concession trailer up to code, I always just go to the nearest Department of Agriculute and sit down and speak with the food safety department, If you just simply follow everything in the booklet you can get from them or download from the website for the mobile setup, you'll be fine. I found the whole process to be rather easy and painless, far less of a hassle from what I've heard from others thou, the toughest HD inspector we've dealt with was in Bucks County (philadelphia area), but that was only because she showed up right after we plugged the hot water heater in and it wasn't up to temp yet. (guess she was impatient,lol) feel free to email me with any specific questions you may have, I'd be glad to help if I can, Good Luck.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Being in PA, I've never had an issue with the health department, they've always answered all of my questions, and helped make sure I was on the right track with everything in getting both my catering truck and now my concession trailer up to code, I always just go to the nearest Department of Agriculute and sit down and speak with the food safety department, If you just simply follow everything in the booklet you can get from them or download from the website for the mobile setup, you'll be fine. I found the whole process to be rather easy and painless, far less of a hassle from what I've heard from others thou, the toughest HD inspector we've dealt with was in Bucks County (philadelphia area), but that was only because she showed up right after we plugged the hot water heater in and it wasn't up to temp yet. (guess she was impatient,lol) feel free to email me with any specific questions you may have, I'd be glad to help if I can, Good Luck.
Thanks for the offer, I will take you up on that.
My biggest problem is living in such a rural part of Pa, to be completely honest they are not used to people actually going through the process. (That came from them)
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Unread 05-26-2011, 10:36 PM   #7
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we are in a fairly rural area as well, and our closest office for the PA dept. of ag is about an hour drive away, but surprised to hear you are having issues getting answers, that's crazy. they should be greatful that you want to do things the legal, so many out there that aren't.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 10:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinybud View Post
we are in a fairly rural area as well, and our closest office for the PA dept. of ag is about an hour drive away, but surprised to hear you are having issues getting answers, that's crazy. they should be greatful that you want to do things the legal, so many out there that aren't.
I agree, I sent you a private message.
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Unread 06-01-2011, 10:45 PM   #9
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Make sure you get in contact with the health department. They can be a pain but you can't do it unless you get their approval. Also, be sure to get decent appliances. If you don't want to get new ones, you can get decent used ones at the Habitat ReStore. You'd be surprised what you can find at that place.
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Unread 06-01-2011, 10:57 PM   #10
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You know I am trying to do everything right, but they sure make it hard. I have left 2 messages with the health inspector, still no return call. One lady who seemed to know something retired yesterday.

I guess to get anywhere I need to fill out the application and go ahead and file it.

I wish I knew about the countertops and sinks. I know I need 3 sinks for dishes, but does the countertop have to be stainless, how far away does the hand washing sync need to be?
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Unread 06-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #11
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Stainless counter tops are nice although pricey, once you have them they're good for life and easy to clean, I believe, stainless tables with a galvanized under shelf from R.E. aren't too bad and if you can get scratched and dented way, cheaper, you can get them with a small backsplash, just drill it in a few spots and screw it to the wall with some stainless screws, In Canada, they demand a hand sink but don't care where its installed, along with a hand soap dispenser near by. My hand sink is under the counter to save space and has never been used,as you have your hands in the other sinks all the time but regs call for a hand sink
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Unread 06-02-2011, 12:36 PM   #12
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Stainless counter tops are nice although pricey, once you have them they're good for life and easy to clean, I believe, stainless tables with a galvanized under shelf from R.E. aren't too bad and if you can get scratched and dented way, cheaper, you can get them with a small backsplash, just drill it in a few spots and screw it to the wall with some stainless screws, In Canada, they demand a hand sink but don't care where its installed, along with a hand soap dispenser near by. My hand sink is under the counter to save space and has never been used,as you have your hands in the other sinks all the time but regs call for a hand sink
Thanks I just picked up a stainless 3 bay sink with 24" cutting / prep areas on each side. A tad longer than I wanted without including a hand sink but the workspace will be nice. I will just come up with a small hand sink to put nearby so I can use the same pump and water heater.
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