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Food Handling General Discussion General and open discussion for food handling and safety.


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Unread 05-18-2006, 12:01 PM   #16
Bigmista
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I belong to the Moose Lodge and the have agreed to let me rent their commercial kitchen for big jobs I might have. So I can cook there and deliver trays of food. I'm sure I will get some cook on site jobs too but the people I'm getting so far just want the food and I'm cool with that right now.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 01:57 PM   #17
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I am just cooking like Todd... for a few folks at work to take home. I'm not concerned about all the stuff I'd need to be if I was actually catering. I decided all I'm going to do for now is a.) for friends/co-workers/neighbors b.) deliver food to their private location only. I am planning on providing a disclaimer sheet with the food for health department approved re-heating guidelines AND before they order it, advise them about the MSG, salts and sugars for anyone who might be eating these that would have a problem with them.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 02:02 PM   #18
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I have also been asked to cook for a large company picnic at my boss's house in June or July. I will probably cook SOME on site but the company is providing all the sides, etc. so there won't be any kitchen cooking at all. I'm guessing I'll be ok doing this...
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Unread 05-18-2006, 02:18 PM   #19
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Mobile food service is the "easiest" way to be compliant and safe. However, it's not cheap. Basically, you have a certified mobile kitchen (look at Southern Yankee and Austin National to get an idea - there are others) in which you can prep, store, cook, cleanup, etc. and only return to your "commissary" to dump waste water, fill up with clean water, clean the rig, etc.

Your mobile kichen will carry your health certificate and your commissary must be inspected, too. This is where the use of a VFW or American Legion, or Moose/Elk/etc. contact can help you out. They might even have a covered screened area that you could cook in and fulfill the requirements.

Otherwise, if you don't have your own commissary with say a covered and screened cooking area (think old hamburger stand with full kitchen and a screened area for your cooker) you're nearly always going to be out of compliance. Your "hamburger stand" would be where your health certificate would be based.

Nobody said this was easy!!
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Unread 05-18-2006, 02:31 PM   #20
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I've often thought that an old gas station (not counting environmental cleanup) would be a good walk-up place and a good catering location. The garage area allows you to pull in with your cooker and with screens installed you could leave the garage doors open during the cook session. The "office" area could easily be converted to a prep kitchen with sinks and small coolers and you'd have space in the other part of the garage to install a walkin.

Just thinking out loud.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 05:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad
Mobile food service is the "easiest" way to be compliant and safe. However, it's not cheap. Basically, you have a certified mobile kitchen (look at Southern Yankee and Austin National to get an idea - there are others) in which you can prep, store, cook, cleanup, etc. and only return to your "commissary" to dump waste water, fill up with clean water, clean the rig, etc.

Your mobile kichen will carry your health certificate and your commissary must be inspected, too. This is where the use of a VFW or American Legion, or Moose/Elk/etc. contact can help you out. They might even have a covered screened area that you could cook in and fulfill the requirements.

Otherwise, if you don't have your own commissary with say a covered and screened cooking area (think old hamburger stand with full kitchen and a screened area for your cooker) you're nearly always going to be out of compliance. Your "hamburger stand" would be where your health certificate would be based.


Nobody said this was easy!!
This varies from state to state. I can cook all on site and as long as I am "under cover" (EZ Ups) I do not need screening. Also, I can set up a table with three plastic tubs (wash, rinse, sanitize) and a handwash station (Igloo with hot water. hand soap, paper towels, covered waste basket, and tub for grey water) and I am good. Coolers with ice to insure cold food is kept cold. The upright on my pit insures hot food stays hot. I LOVE cooking on-site! It is precisely why I bought the big pit! Folks LOVE it when I drive it up and start a fire in it! I can actually justify charging more because I cook on-site!
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Unread 05-18-2006, 09:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostNation
In Vermont I have two licenses, one to cook at home and one to cook on site. The only requirement is that my water is potable and is tested every year I re-new my licenses. These cost me a total of $200 for both. My insurance is covered under a rider on my contractors insurance, I really don't build anything anymore but I keep the insurance. I think Vermont is one of the easiest stated to cater legally in.
Much easier than us! If I wanted to hang a shingle and cater - I would have to have a separate kitchen from "home" (could be an outbuilding on the property that is decked out..) and you are required to be liscenced just like a dine-in establishment.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 09:23 PM   #23
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We do alot of our cooking onsite. I'll have to see if that allows me to get different permits outside of just what you can arrange at local festivals.

I think the issue is - that some of us would like to cook a little, when asked. However, we aren't trying to make a "business" out of it.

There doesnt seem to be an easy way to "get over the hump". Either you have fork out the bucks and lease/own a kitchen that would be acceptable -- or just not cook.

I agree on the private parties. Gotta have insurance regardless of what you are doing.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 09:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Woodman
This varies from state to state. I can cook all on site and as long as I am "under cover" (EZ Ups) I do not need screening. Also, I can set up a table with three plastic tubs (wash, rinse, sanitize) and a handwash station (Igloo with hot water. hand soap, paper towels, covered waste basket, and tub for grey water) and I am good. Coolers with ice to insure cold food is kept cold. The upright on my pit insures hot food stays hot. I LOVE cooking on-site! It is precisely why I bought the big pit! Folks LOVE it when I drive it up and start a fire in it! I can actually justify charging more because I cook on-site!
They get all excited when they pull up and see the smoke wafting from the pit.... and all the gear. People just love it.... and pay for it
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Unread 05-18-2006, 09:33 PM   #25
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Let me let you in on a big secret. If you buy an older establishment to convert, heath codes will require you to saw up the floors, and place floor sinks in so that all your water drains properly, and your sewage cannot back up into the three compartment sink, the hand sink, the prep sink.....
Not a cheap prospect. Trust me I know!
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Unread 05-18-2006, 11:22 PM   #26
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So should I get insurance just to cook for my company party at a private residence? There will probably be 75 to 100 people there. Seems like a waste of money to me if I'm not going to cook for groups regularly.
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Unread 05-19-2006, 05:36 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_in_KC
So should I get insurance just to cook for my company party at a private residence? There will probably be 75 to 100 people there. Seems like a waste of money to me if I'm not going to cook for groups regularly.
You feel lucky?
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Unread 05-19-2006, 06:20 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_in_KC
So should I get insurance just to cook for my company party at a private residence? There will probably be 75 to 100 people there. Seems like a waste of money to me if I'm not going to cook for groups regularly.
I for one , wouldnt think so. you are an employee, cooking for an employee function, at an employee residence.. presumably, corporate umbrella policy would kick in somewhere.. company wouldnt take out extra insurance if they had a company softball game... doing it as an employee , and not your que team name, would put you in a different status
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Unread 05-22-2006, 04:24 PM   #29
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Jeff, I have gone through this vicious circle for about 4 years now. If you are preparing food on site, and not delivering, you do not need any insurance or catering license. I have a Blue Springs Business license (just in case) and a $1,000,000 umbrella policy that covers me for whatever some dumbass wants to sue me for. The umbrella is fairly inexpensive when grouped with home and 3 autos, roughly $20 per month. As I have told my wife on numerous occasions, absolutely noone has EVER gotten sick eating my food, (she made me get the umbrella anyway)!
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Unread 05-30-2006, 11:19 AM   #30
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Here's a link from the Dallas food safety people...addressing temporary food concession requirements. It's a good link and is reflective of most municipalities.

http://www.dallascityhall.com/pdf/eh...quirements.pdf
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