Health Inspector/Maker Kitchen

  • Hello,

    The health inspector made a surprise visit this morning. He approved the maker kitchen as a processing space. What does this mean for makers?

    1. Small-run batches created in the maker kitchen can be sold commercially at farmers markets and the like as long as someone present has their safe food handling ticket. You can test your recipes and test your market potential!
    2. We can have up to 14 fundraiser dinners at the space each year open to the general public. Any more meals than that requires a commercial permit (which we cant apply for unless we create more cold storage space and a proper sanitizing sink). Again there needs to be someone present with safe food handling training.
    3. But before any of this can happen we need to get our dishwasher up and running!

    If you have any more questions about what can/cant be done in the maker kitchen as far as the city is concerned you should contact our health inspector:

    Brent Zaharia

  • Wow that is a surprise. I know the dishwasher we have will probably never be smell free and would need to be replaced. Anybody want to take on a dishwasher project?

  • If the dishwasher ends up being replaced it needs to have a sanitation cycle and a NSF certification sticker.

  • The dishwasher in the Space was not brought in for doing dishes with. Nor do I believe it will ever be food safe due to how long it has sat unused and uncleaned. It was brought in to be converted to a parts washer.

    A machine with a proper sanitation cycle and a NSF certification sticker would be nice but very expensive to buy and also costly to run. It would be less costly in the long run to replace the sink with a three stage sink, meeting food-safe requirements that way. Not that I don’t like the idea of having a machine do the work because I am very tired of hand washing a pile of dishes when I come in. But cost wise a food-safe approved (Three station) sink that costs us once and is paid for seems better in our situation.

    Our kitchen is not certified for commercial use nor have we followed up on that (To the best of my knowledge) since @Sue did all that work for it a year and a half ago. I am curious why the sudden random inspection when they didn’t even come to physically look at it during that process, which again was no completed? (Again to the best of my knowledge, though I did talk with @Sue about it last Friday.)

  • If we are able to fix the current dishwasher we don’t have to worry about all that because our current dishwasher has NSF certification.

    The kitchen will never be certified as a commercial kitchen until we get more cold storage and a proper three stage sink with a sanitation station. And pay the yearly fee. Right now it is certified as a “process kitchen” which allows all the things I described as long as we have any cheap dishwasher with a NSF sticker on it. This broken dishwasher has such a sticker. The inspector showed up today because we are certified as a process kitchen and he hasn’t been able to get in to the space do the initial inspection. The last step is running a dishwasher cycle with these test strips he left me to verify that it gets hot enough to cook all the germs.

    Once we get any dishwasher in place and start doing 14 fundraising dinners every year (one dinner a month??) then we’ll be able to raise enough dollars to …buy a proper sink? …expand our cold storage? …offset the energy costs of running a sanitation station and more cold storage? …afford a commercial license? Win win win win win.

  • Finally, a thread that I fully understand! Brent is a good inspector and easy to deal with, so he won’t give too much trouble - we probably won’t see him again for a year. The test strips are for chemical balance in a machine with chemical sanitizer, so they don’t test temperature and are basically useless for this purpose unless we plan to use a quat sanitizer or bleach. I have electronic thermometers to test the temp inside, but they really aren’t necessary for this purpose. Any home dishwasher gets much, much hotter than a commercial unit, as they use heat to dry the dishes. A commercial unit typically runs a 3 1/2 to 5 minute cycle, vs a home unit at 45 minutes plus, so they don’t have time for a drying cycle. If the dishes come out dry, it’s more than hot enough. If the unit can be made to work, including the heating coil, it’s sanitary. It’s basically self-Sanitizing at that temp. It just needs to be cleaned. There is no need for a commercial dishwasher, any home unit does a better job, it’s just much, much slower. Commercial units start around $4000, home units around $500.

  • Great! I’m assuming any dishwasher with heated drying will pass the test! The test strips need at least 71 degrees Celsius.

  • Classroom

    How does this post have 7.3K views in only a day?

  • @kile :alien: 's?

  • I was thinking Trump, but this isn’t twitter.

  • This is awesome :-) Let’s build a food dehydrator!

  • If anyone wants to do some pressure canning, I can bring in my setup. Try not to blow yourselves up though 'mkay?

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