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Do you need a health dept license? - Page 2

post #21 of 42
Also the reason many folks who compete in comps and cater have trailored rigs etc. that have hot water clean cooking areas etc.The two go hand in hand for mobility and great advertising and makes setting up for comps hell of alot easier- we have a 60 foot r.v. with roll down ramps and storage in back instead of master suite.Also equiped with full kitchen refrigeration hot water etc.Lot more to it then a lemonade stand-so to speak.
post #22 of 42
It's that way it is where I am in NY. Without inspection how do you know what the conditions are where the food was produced?
post #23 of 42
I have no problem with inspection, it's that you have to have a restaurant to cater food.
post #24 of 42
Well here you don't need a rerstaurant....just a place of business to prep your food.....could be a hole in the wall but as long as it will pass inspection you're good to go. You can sometimes find a tavern that doesn't use there kitchen and rent it, but it still has to be up to standards.
post #25 of 42
You don't have to have a restaurant, you can cook on site.....

You just can't prep and cook somewhere else and then serve on site, no way to police everybodys home kitchen.
post #26 of 42
Same way here.Friend of mine runs a roadside bbq out of a 25 foot wells fargo trailer-pull behind type-and cooks on site.He does this about every weekend during summer.He is inspected -including randomly.Its a mobile kitchen -smoker etc.I do 2-3 community association gigs same way and a large nursery that has customer appreciation day.
post #27 of 42
Thats what seemed ridiculous to me. I asked about the trailers and cooking onsite and she said no. She said you had to cook it at a restaurant kitchen.
post #28 of 42

health dept

Makes sense you could have your smoker trailer checked. I knew a hot dog vendor in Phoenix who had a cart that was inspected and he had a food handler certificate.
post #29 of 42
Your talking to the wrong person.
Where is "here" anyways?
post #30 of 42
Check into the regulations that a Concession Stand would fall under. You might be able to make those rules more easily. Remember, you're doing all of your cooking outside, not in your kitchen. That makes a BIG difference in my part of the world.
post #31 of 42
I just spoke with the health dept again (in Arlington, TX). It seems pretty impossible. Even a cart has to be located at a restaurant or business and be under their awning and can only sell hot dogs or corn dogs to receive a license.
post #32 of 42
I had my throw downs with the health departments here in NM, It took 3 years to get a mobile kitchen certified by them. Finally I obtained a State permit, not just a city or county one. If I cater on city or state property I must apply for another permit and inspections (Fire dept, propane inspectors, health department) of course they all have fees you have to pay to get the permits. The permit we hold is for food processing and vending. Insurance is about $400 per year for $1,000,000 of product liability (this is usually the minimum you need for a city or county gig).
BUT the conditions of my permit is that I can not run continous for more than 15 days, mobile only with no "land based commisary". Cooking on site is our preffered method any way. After everything is said and done it sure is nice to see a green sticker for your efforts.
post #33 of 42
Thanks, Garlic. That is helpful. That maybe the way to go. Can you describe your mobile kitchen? Is it actually like an RV?
post #34 of 42
I worked for Pepsi as a mechanic for a few years and they were rotating the consession trailers for sale. I bought one and 'remodeled' it. I got a copy of code and did what I translated it to be. (Mistake) Hand sinks are very important and sinks large enough to submerge the largest item you have are also real important for following code. I had picked up a 4' sandwich station and a bunch of stainless steel counter top material and re did all of the surfaces and changed the counter tops to be more user friendly, added 3 bar sinks, RV type water heater, a propane system, screen cover for the serving window, removable stoves and a exhaust hood. The trailer is 7'6" wide and 14' long and can be towed by a 1/2 ton pick up easily. It took us 2 years to get the design correct and a blue print drawn up for the health department. Now all we need is a good paint job on the outside and we'll have a choice rig. Water is transported in potable water barrels (15 gal each) and the gray water is stored in a portable waste water tote (like the ones for RV's). the waste volume must be 120% of the fresh water volume (code). I will post some pictures after this weekends BBQ contest here in New Mexico. Buy the way, if you don't like the answer that you get from one inspector seek out another one. Albuquerque stated they did not want another mobile food vendor and refused to even see us. Rio Rancho asked what they could do for us as a new business, so Rio Rancho is where we are located.
post #35 of 42
Thanks for sharing that Garlic..that's good info for a guy starting out.
I can't wait for the pic's of your trailer
post #36 of 42
Thanks again. That is very helpful.
post #37 of 42
I know this is a couple of days old but...

First you don’t need a restaurant kitchen to cook your food in. Your cooker is your kitchen. You do need a place to store your products ie: meat, salads ect. and prepare the items you don’t cook on your cooker as well as a place to clean your equipment. No state I know of will allow you to store or prepare food at your home. You need a commissary , a commissary can be any state lessened commercial kitchen. If you are a member of a private club that has a food service permit that private club can be your commissary. Private clubs like the VFW, Polish American Club, American Legion and others. Most will usually have a licensed kitchen. Make friends with someone or join one of these clubs and get to know the powers that be. 99% of the time they won’t have a problem letting you use their club as a commissary. You might have to do some volunteer work but weigh the benefits.

Go to your states department of professional regulation or their web-site and get the real dope. Don’t trust what others tell you, all the information you need will be located there. Good luck with your business venture and all the information I can give is relevant to Florida but most states are very similar when it come to food service.
post #38 of 42
was talking to a buddy who also caters and he told me his county in western maryland you dont even THINK of a roadside bbq etc.-he does it in county next door and our county in maryland has no problem-definetly a county by county in many places.Regulations are similiar it seems in alot of places but worth your money to check.
post #39 of 42
I'm talking about catering not roadside stands. But what you are talking about is probably a zoneing issue.
post #40 of 42
Yep..I think catering and vending got confused..especialy by me in this thread.
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