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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 05-29-2008, 07:32 AM   #1
Pitbull
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Default What is a Commercial Kitchen?

Regulations covering catering basically say that catered food may not be prepared and cooked in a home kitchen. It must be prepared and cooked in a “commercial kitchen”. I need some help understanding what really distinguishes a “commercial kitchen” from a “home kitchen”. Here’s why I ask. Typically you think of a commercial kitchen having mostly stainless equipment and tables, however a “commercial kitchen” was recently opened at the place I work at. It was completely blessed and certified by the health department, certificate and all. It is constructed with the standard formica counter tops and cabinets and the only thing stainless in the place is the hot dog cooker, sink and pots and pans. There's nothing special about the floors and walls either. So why is that any different than a home kitchen????
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Unread 05-29-2008, 07:38 AM   #2
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More than anything else it's inspected by the city to make sure it meets health, safety, zoning, and fire codes.

Last edited by ZILLA; 05-29-2008 at 12:42 PM.. Reason: Added more info after thinking about it.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 08:35 AM   #3
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The easiest and most accurate answer will come from your local health department. Regulations and procedures vary greatly! What might be the case in one city may be very different from another city a short distance away.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 10:39 AM   #4
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http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=25&pt=1&ch=229&s ch=K&rl=Y
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Unread 05-29-2008, 12:45 PM   #5
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The link doesn't work.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 01:03 PM   #6
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http://tinyurl.com/36d589
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Unread 05-29-2008, 01:04 PM   #7
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Commercial kitchen = 3 bay wash sink w/ seperate hand sink!
Everything else is peanuts!
Stainles steel has NOTHING to do with commercial, i have installed commercial kitchens with simple HD cabinets, formica tops and standard appliances.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 02:02 PM   #8
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The plumbing would also need to be constructed so that waste water can't back up into the sinks.

The best advice is to check with the local BOH.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 06:12 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. That clarifies it some. In reality it wouldn't be that expensive to meet the requirements. I assume the 3 bay sink is for wash, rinse and sanitize. Correct?
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Unread 05-29-2008, 06:46 PM   #10
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Here in NYC there are regulations regarding in home catering businesses. Basically a commercial kitchen must be separate from the home kitchen and home meals may not be prepared in it.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 07:39 PM   #11
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Same law applies here about seperate home meals and commercial meals. I have been going over ideas and best way for us to be set up with the health inspector. Have a meeting tomorrow with owners of a commercial kitchen to haggle use of it.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 08:03 PM   #12
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In out County you can actually take your plan to them and they will tell you what you need and if your plan is going to pass or not. The Inspector that I have worked with has been really helpful. I too am going the shared kitchen route...
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Unread 05-29-2008, 08:12 PM   #13
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Here I don't think the home meals applies, but I've never looked into that aspect. A 3 basin sink can be 3 tubs as long as they have clean, soap, and bleach in one each and either wipes or a hand wash sink you are good.

When we rebuild our garage I'm building an extra half that will be a prep kitchen. My wife is overjoyed.
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Unread 05-30-2008, 06:58 AM   #14
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What real difference does it make if you prepare home meals in it or not?
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Unread 05-30-2008, 09:47 AM   #15
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Not sure. Every county is different. If I was 1 mile north of my house that county has different guidelines than the one I'm in so it varies to some degree.
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