Here's an example of excessive regulation hampering business

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Paulie, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    I'm trying to start a mobile retail food business in NJ. The requirements for the mobile business are more stringent than the stationary business, most notably that in addition to the 3 compartment sink and separate hand washing sink on the mobile unit, I must also have an established and approved "servicing area" that also has a 3 compartment sink and a separate utility sink or "mop sink" as the health dept. calls it, for disposal of mop water and other liquid waste and for cleaning and sanitizing all cleaning equipment.

    All the requirements on my mobile unit are simple and pretty cost effective for me, I have already priced out what I need and everything so far is within my budget.

    The problem is the "servicing area". The service area can not be a private residence, it has to be what they refer to as a "detached or attached garage" or something similar, used for such things as vehicle and
    equipment cleaning, discharging liquid or solid wastes, refilling water tanks and ice bins and boarding food.

    This makes no sense to me. I could just get a second 3 compartment sink unit and also install a single sink unit for the mop/utility usage. I could maybe see where the food storing part comes into play, but I don't see why there needs to be some separate location for this when I can just as easily store it all on the unit itself in the fridge and other locations where food would be while I'm open and selling food.

    This separate location can be an already established restaurant if not my own "detached or attached garage". It wouldn't be within my budget to rent some kind of location to be the servicing area, so my only option is to find a restaurant owner who would be willing to allow his kitchen to be my designated servicing area. I'm sure I could find someone willing, probably for a fee of who knows how much, considering they know I need it.

    My hope is to find someone willing to do it for around $1000 or maybe barter for any painting they might need done as I also own a painting business. And I would also advertise their restaurant on my mobile unit.

    I just think this is excessive and unnecessary. I can easily provide adequate sinks and cleaning abilities on the mobile unit. This servicing area part is really holding this back at the moment.
     
  2. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Not sure if I'm reading you right, but it sounds as if they want any cleaning operation kept separate from the food prep area?
     
  3. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Interesting and I admit complicated. I was watching 'No Reservations' a while back and a women served food out of the back of a truck, looked good. In Philly, the food police would be after her. Well maybe as we have lots of street vendors. Licensing and inspections has always been a pain, people often avoid them just so they don't have to put up with ridiculous rules. We did my son's basement, what a pain the inspectors were in Princeton when they moved and needed permits for sale. Downright silly stuff.

    Cajun Country - Travel Channel
     
  4. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Not exactly. The mobile unit is required to have a 3 compartment sink, and another sink for hand washing. That's pretty much it as far as sanitation, besides the surfaces of the unit needing to be smooth and non-porous for easy cleaning.

    So if they're already saying I can clean utensils on the unit, why do I need a separate location where I would also be cleaning utensils? The separate location also has to have a 3 compartment sink, plus the mop sink.

    I can just have another 3 compartment sink on the mobile unit and a mop sink, and keep them separate from where I would prep food.
     
  5. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Where are you getting this information? Maybe you are reading it wrong. It sounds to me from your initial post that you need an area elsewhere to clean your equipment, not your utensils.

    I mean, you wouldn't want your mop sink to be a sink you used for food prep, would you?
     
  6. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Here's the section in the regulation guide:

    My responses to this are: Vehicle cleaning can be done ANYWHERE. Equipment cleaning is already being done on the mobile unit at the 3 compartment sink Im required to have there. I'm only going to be using tongs, forks, spatulas, etc. Nothing bigger than that. Discharging wastes could be done at a separate sink unit, and refilling water could be done simply by bringing a bunch of water cooler type bottles with me. The sink units are already equipped with everything needed as far as water supply, drainage, waste collection, heater, etc.

    There's just no reason for having to have a separate location. It's almost a deal-breaker.
     
  7. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Rav, you're not reading me right. I would have a 4 compartment sink unit that would satisfy the requirement of 3 compartments for utensil cleaning and 1 for hand washing. Then I would have an additional 3 compartment sink unit located away from that area, along with a single sink unit for mop usage.
     
  8. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    I may have found my solution to this, I forgot I know a restaurant owner who would probably let me use his kitchen as my designated servicing area. But I still think this is just overboard on regulation. I understand needing to have equipment cleaning and food area cleaning separate from each other, but needing an entirely different stationary location for the servicing area is unreasonable.
     
  9. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    To me it sounds like you need a place to store your vehicle and maintain it. I'm not really seeing a problem with that. I would certainly be more apt to buy food from a roach coach that doesn't hook up a hose to it's kitchen sink to wash said roach coach. Plus, you need a sanitary place to store extra food, paper goods, etc.

    Maybe you'd be better off starting a business to house and service roach coaches.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  10. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    :confused: Are you doing all your food prep and storage on the truck?
     

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