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Old 01-30-2008, 10:54 AM   #1
Rag
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Depot kitchen

I have been talking to the PA food safety people about cooking hogs for hire. There are many things to be addressed, but the biggest hurtle for me is a kitchen to be based out of. They call for food prep and cleanup to be done in a licensed kitchen. What have you guys done to meet this.
Some, I know, perform freebie cooks for an American Legion or that type service club with a kitchen.
How or what would you offer to get kitchen privileges to groups like this OR other type kitchens.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:14 AM   #2
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you may be able to rent some time from a church.
I'd approach a civic organization like a Moose club that
has a kitchen and offer to trade cooks for them to use
their kitchen. You may have to become a Moose though.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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I had a moose in my backyard last week. I didn't know they had kitchens.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff
I had a moose in my backyard last week. I didn't know they had kitchens.
I didn't know they had clubs either.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:16 PM   #5
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Rag, in Ohio, you can be temporarily licensed for about $35.00. The catch is, you have to be inspected on site, and, you have to prepare all food on site. I would be willing to bet, that out of all folks who do whole hog BBQ, and other BBQ, maybe 10-20% are compliant with local laws. You see, if you have a licensed kitchen, but you are, of course, cooking your hog on site ? Your kitchen is immaterial anyway! Also, you are technically governed by the Board of Health of the County in which you actually do the cooking. Even if you cooked everything in your licensed kitchen, and delivered it to the site, you need a different license designation to "transport" hot and cold food. To make matters even more complex, the laws are "open to interpretation" and that varies from county to county, and even sanitarian to sanitarian( the guy who inspects you!) One county tells me, "you must only be licensed if the guests are being billed a "charge" that includes the meal (like a golf outing or class reunion.) The next county over tells me "if you are charging a ""per plate"" or ""per meal"" cost, then you must be inspected and licensed". This is why I now go the "Personal Chef" route and charge :

Raw Materials
Service Charge (price per hour)
Set-Up fee

This way, the customer is buying the food (through you) and you are supplying a "service" of cooking that food rather than providing "finished meals." Again, every county differs. In one county, you can provide three wash tubs (plastic) to wash rinse and sanitize dishes. Then, they never even ask about the grey water. The next county will require three stainless tubs and a tank to hold grey water. It is a bunch of crap. Be true to yourself. Be VERY CLEAN, and fly under the radar wherever possible! I would call the county in which you live and tell them your plans. The first guy I spoke with three years ago was invaluable in the info he provided. Good Luck! WM
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:57 PM   #6
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Boy oh boy...These HD people really need to get their stories straight. Mine(Ohio) told me the governing HD is the Health Dept.(county) where the business is located. I do not have to get permits to cook up where Dave lives because I would be licensed by my county, which is much more strict than his anyways. The billing is a real sticking point because it always comes down to cost being calculated by # of people. Otherwise, you'd cook the same amount every time. My HD guys were going to consult with the guys in columbus and figure out what was what. I did get into with them over someone charging a fee or whatever to attend or that food is included in your ticket price. That's why I am going to go for the mobile food service operators license which requires sinks, hot water, gray water tank, etc. I just want to be covered and not screw around with you can do this but not this...blah blah blah. Keep in mind that Health Dept.(at least in Ohio) have no jurisdiction over private events at someone's house. Like Dave said, ask questions and run a clean operation and use your head. Also, any transporting of finished product must be transported in an NSF rated device such as a cambro to be legal. Most coolers are not NSF.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:41 PM   #7
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I think there is a loop hole in all that health goon non-sense if a person passes themselves off as a "Personal Chef." Technically to do this you have to be cooking the customer's food on the customers equipment and at the customer's location. So you draw up a rental contract wheras the customer rents the pit off your wife or cousin etc..buys the pig themselves...then you charge them labor to cook it. It's sorta like "probable cause" in poleece work i.e. just a matter of creative repoat writing. Simple huh?

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Old 01-30-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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Yea, BW, the PA guy said pers chef will work if you cook customers food, on his kitchen and tools.
PA takes precedence if no local authority is in place.
Even thou I would cook everything on site, they want a depot kitchen to serve as a wash up (utensils) place.
I said to the man, I don't think all the pig cookers I know are doing this. His answer was "we only work Mon thru Fri".
So, under the radar works till some mutt sues because he got a belly ache. Then the insurance carrier says 'all bets off, you weren't licensed'.
Now that would suck.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:30 PM   #9
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Well thats where you have the lawyer draw up a release of liability where the customer assumes all responsiblity for belly aches..deceased eaters etc. That should work.

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Old 01-30-2008, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheel
Well thats where you have the lawyer draw up a release of liability where the customer assumes all responsiblity for belly aches..deceased eaters etc. That should work.

bigwheel
"Deceased eaters". You gotta be sh**ing me.
If the inspectors are off on the weekend and an eater deceases, does that count?
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rag
Yea, BW, the PA guy said pers chef will work if you cook customers food, on his kitchen and tools.
PA takes precedence if no local authority is in place.
Even thou I would cook everything on site, they want a depot kitchen to serve as a wash up (utensils) place.
I said to the man, I don't think all the pig cookers I know are doing this. His answer was "we only work Mon thru Fri".
So, under the radar works till some mutt sues because he got a belly ache. Then the insurance carrier says 'all bets off, you weren't licensed'.
Now that would suck.
Utensils??? What utensils?? Use foil pans(disposable). Just have knives to worry about and I'm sure there's a way around that too.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheel
Well thats where you have the lawyer draw up a release of liability where the customer assumes all responsiblity for belly aches..deceased eaters etc. That should work.

bigwheel
bw, thanks for the lawyer plug.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:48 PM   #13
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I'm missing the problem with all of this...

If all they are looking for is a "base station" so to speak for
you to be doing your major sanitation etc...

Why not just use your own kitchen? Is there a law in Pa.
against that? If there is, just close off a corner of your garage,
your basement, or even an outbuilding/shed and bang out a
seperate kitchen.

Sanitary enviroment
Some counter-top area
Triple basin sink... I think some areas accept high-temp. dishwashers
Hot and cold potable water
Hot water specific temperatures
Cooking/pre-cook area (if applicable)
Refrigeration 32*-45*f /freezer 0*f or below
Faccilities to keep/store/hold any
hot foods...140* or above (again, if applicable)
Proper food & utensil handling practices
Proper storage of food & utensils
Garbage & rubbish disposal
Smoke detectors
Evidence of safe & sanitary containers and means of transportation
of any and all foods "off site" base goods/ cold/ frozen & hot
Some also may require access to a sanitary bathroom

I'm sure I have missed a lot and different laws apply to each state
and town. But this is what my brother-in-law had to have to run
his hot dog/lunch truck a few years back. And I'm probably missing
some things. It seems like a lot, but it really isn't.

Any place you have of your own or "borrow" from
someone/some place will have to meet the same requirements for
your licensing. I may be wrong. Massachusetts is kinda strict
In Ma. you also need a food handling certificate to serve ANYTHING
to the public in any form. It's like a thre day class or something

Every third person needs the certif. . So if you have 4 people involved
2 of them will need to be certified. Not sure if Pa. has that in effect or not.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:37 AM   #14
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I gave up vending and just do private party's now. More money and no health goons to deal with. How or why would you prep a whole hog in a kitchen anyway?
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigs On The Wing BBQ
I gave up vending and just do private party's now. More money and no health goons to deal with. How or why would you prep a whole hog in a kitchen anyway?
Yeah, I'd rather do them on a dirty plywood table.............
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:17 AM   #16
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Around my neck of the woods if you get yourself entangled with the health goons they demand you have a commecial commisary (kitchen) to work out of..store your stuff..clean up things etc. They do not allow a person to use a home kitchen for this purpose. If you have any mobile vehicles..vending units etc. they must be kept parked at the commisary. Cant park em at home. Hey Griff..always glad to help the poor broke laywers

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Old 01-31-2008, 10:22 AM   #17
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thanks bw, I appreciate it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:23 AM   #18
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Just like BW said Griff, it is next to impossible to get a home kitchen approved.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #19
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It would appear that the idea of feeding people is very dangerous.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
It would appear that the idea of feeding people is very dangerous.
Only if your stupid.
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