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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 05-30-2008, 01:59 PM   #16
parrothead
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The main difference around here is what you will be doing in that kitchen. We have low risk, medium risk and high risk classifications.

Medium risk at this point is our concession stand that we run. It has to have the sink requirements, but any standard homeowner appliances and what not are fine. Everything must be scrubbable. Durable paint, etc. Everything caulked down, etc. We have been told that this will change on us soon and as those refrigerators and freezers out there die, they will need to be replaced with nsf. They will give a 5 year plan if this gets implemented so as not to slam the little guy with complete replacement of everything all at once.

High risk is what we have at the store. All of our stuff HAS to be NSF. Our county doesn't require it yet, but there are now NSF7 classifications which are even higher. NSF7 is basically no right angles. Every inside corner is rounded.

Also around here, everything needs to be either on wheels or 6 inches off the ground. We opted for the wheels as it is WAY easy to clean and that is basically what all this stuff boils down to. Cleanability. If it is easier to clean then you are more apt to clean it. It still doesn't gaurantee that someone is going to clean.

Depending on equipment, a hood may be required. We were told NO outside cooking, but have learned since that there is some leeway to that rule.

Basically, there is so much variance from county to county that the only way you can be sure is to just talk to the person in charge there. It goes a long way with them doing this as well. They like to know that you are interested in doing it right.

One last difference between the medium facility and the high. At our medium facility we can have one person in charge with a food service license. They don't even have to be there. They just need to oversee how things are done and are responsible for training the staff. At our high risk facility, we have to have someone with a food service license present at all times (if we are doing anything in the kitchen). We have 4 of them and that is not a problem.
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Unread 05-30-2008, 06:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitbull View Post
What real difference does it make if you prepare home meals in it or not?
I don't know why they are are so picky about that, but I can tell you that the one time I got dinged on my Health inspection was because I had a package of primerib (from my local butcher shop) and an unopened bag of frozen hashbrowns in my freezer at the restaurant. The inspector knew it wasn't food to be served in the restaurant and marked me down 3 points for it !! He told me that if I put a freezer in ANY area of my building except the kitchen, and put my personal food in it, that I wouldn't get marked down on my health inspection for it.

HOW DUMB IS THAT!!!
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Unread 05-30-2008, 08:34 PM   #18
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One of the classes in culinary school requiries you to do a business plan for a cooking business. Of course, they expect restaurants, but mine is a commercial kitchen operation that is available for rental. My instructors have told me that it was a flash of brilliance (I doubt that, somehow) because San Antonio has no such animal. People who make wedding cakes, caterers, and the like seem to need the space, especially those who are just starting out and cannot afford their own kitchens.

Here, at least, there aren't many differenes between home kitchens and commercial. The three basin sink is the biggie, and there are some other subtle differences, but nothing that you would really notice in day-to-day operations...mostly plumbing and electrical regulations.
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Unread 05-31-2008, 10:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnight View Post
I don't know why they are are so picky about that, but I can tell you that the one time I got dinged on my Health inspection was because I had a package of primerib (from my local butcher shop) and an unopened bag of frozen hashbrowns in my freezer at the restaurant. The inspector knew it wasn't food to be served in the restaurant and marked me down 3 points for it !! He told me that if I put a freezer in ANY area of my building except the kitchen, and put my personal food in it, that I wouldn't get marked down on my health inspection for it.

HOW DUMB IS THAT!!!
Well, as dumb as a lot of things sound, there is typically some reasoning behind it. This one I would surmise is that since they did not come through your regular chain of distribution, there is a chance that the temperatures may have entered the danger zone during your transportation of them. Unless of course you have a reefer truck.

We are eventually going to end up up with full HAACP plan implementation that will require logging of temperatures as they enter the store, yada, yada, yada. That is going to be fun. NOT!

A lot of the trade magazines I get now are showing new items that are coming out very shortly. Items that affix themselves to product and turn colors overtime to indicate age, or to signal that the product reached the wrong temperature at some point in it's life.

Why? Because people won't be responsible and throw things away when they are supposed to, so now the cost of everything will go up. Our motto is "When in doubt, throw it out". Period.

Anyway, they have to write something down, and that was probably it. It couldn't have been too important to him or he would have told you to throw it out right then and there.
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Unread 05-31-2008, 10:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STX Cue View Post
One of the classes in culinary school requiries you to do a business plan for a cooking business. Of course, they expect restaurants, but mine is a commercial kitchen operation that is available for rental. My instructors have told me that it was a flash of brilliance (I doubt that, somehow) because San Antonio has no such animal. People who make wedding cakes, caterers, and the like seem to need the space, especially those who are just starting out and cannot afford their own kitchens.

Here, at least, there aren't many differenes between home kitchens and commercial. The three basin sink is the biggie, and there are some other subtle differences, but nothing that you would really notice in day-to-day operations...mostly plumbing and electrical regulations.
Excellent idea! We also had thought of one that you rent freezer space to restaurants in the area. Most places will say that they never have enough freezer space. I know we don't. Only problem would be that we would have to own a freezer truck and make the pickups and deliveries with that truck, thus running it probably cost ineffective. This is the only way that the health department would allow it.
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Unread 05-31-2008, 05:00 PM   #21
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STX Que, if you get that going, let me know. A friend wants to do cheesecakes.
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