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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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Old 08-05-2010, 07:47 PM   #1
Mister Bob
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I'm trying to start an onsite BBQ catering business in Orange County, NY. I plan to use my air conditioned competition trailer as my "Mobile Food Service Establishment" and cook on my various cookers, outside the trailer (same as at a competition). I visited the Orange County Health Dept. to find out what their requirements are. The inspector said that the cookers are generally required to be in the trailer, but he said his supervisor would agree to having them rolled outside to cook providing I met the other criteria.

I was informed that in addition to having a two compartment sink with hot and cold running water, 20 gallons of potable water, a 23 gallon waste water holding tank, cold food storage (coolers are OK), and food prep equipment, I would need to have a certified commissary at my disposal for food prep, to get my potable water and to dump waste water. According to their checklist, the commissary can be "any restaurant, deli or food store that is under permit by either this department, NYS Dept. of Agriclture and Markets or another county or State Health Dept. You are required to move the mobile unit to this facility at least every 72 hours for cleaning and restocking".

I don't know any deli or restaurant owner personally, and it seems they all do their own catering in any case. Are there other options available to satisfy this requirement? Creative solutions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:09 PM   #2
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I have heard of people having success with their local VFW Halls. Thats what I hope to do when I start doing some weekend gigs. Also I have heard people calling to rent space at bakeries or similiar place that wouldn't be worried about competing with your BBQ.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
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I think your inspectors confused. What's the point of having a mobile kitchen if you have to rent a kitchen? My trailer is set up as a stand alone unit. May have to explain your case better.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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I just found my notes when I talked with my local HD. They gave me some good ideas I forgot to mention. They said I could check out Fire Halls, VFW's, churches, or non-profits. I hope that helps.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, Bbq Bubba, in New York, Mobile Food Service Establishments and Foodcarts both have to work in conjunction with a brick and mortar commissary.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:20 PM   #6
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Thanks, Philly-QueMaster, I'll give that a try.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:48 PM   #7
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HD should have a list of all approved "commissaries" that service the catering truck and hot dog cart trade. Also, try a bakery, as they may work different hours than you - Also a good source for desserts, pastries, etc.
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