How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

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How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby Mark W » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:51 am

I recently watched someone shut down a great artisan meat operation because they were going to need to do some things to please the health department that made it difficult to continue the business. It sounded like it was going to cost a large chunk of money. It didn't sound like this had anything to do with any fines either, although I can't really say for sure.

Would love to hear your opinions on what type of health department and licensing costs someone should expect in this niche of the business?
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby BriCan » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:58 am

Their are no bad health department rules, regs and requirements it is usually 'bad' inspectors who interpret the rules/regulations the wrong way ~~ there is tolerance within the trade (inspectors) but few have it hence the problems
But what do I know
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby Wunderdave » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:06 pm

This depends heavily on your location.
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby Ice » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:32 pm

BriCan wrote:Their are no bad health department rules, regs and requirements it is usually 'bad' inspectors who interpret the rules/regulations the wrong way ~~ there is tolerance within the trade (inspectors) but few have it hence the problems


I would say this is not exactly true, at least in the US our rules can often be overly strict and sometimes downright stupid, which ruins our chances of getting products from other countries and makes it harder and more expensive for business's in the US to produce artisan products.


Many of the rules are good and needed for safety, but many of them are just downright dumb
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby BriCan » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:43 pm

Ice wrote:
BriCan wrote:Their are no bad health department rules, regs and requirements it is usually 'bad' inspectors who interpret the rules/regulations the wrong way ~~ there is tolerance within the trade (inspectors) but few have it hence the problems


I would say this is not exactly true, at least in the US our rules can often be overly strict


It is not that they are 'overly strict' it is as I said the 'person/inspector that is interpret them

and sometimes downright stupid,


Such as??

which ruins our chances of getting products from other countries


Unless you know the 'whole' story, which by the way gets into a thing called 'traceability' then this is not so. The other side to this is what is known as quota ~~ the amount of a given product that is allowed into a country ~~ this comes from a thing they call 'lobbying' which is done by the farmers and the big producers

and makes it harder and more expensive for business's in the US to produce artisan products.


Only if you do not know what you are doing, it is no harder to produce 'artisan' products at a high quality in Canada as it is in the US and believe me they are just as tough as they are in the US


Many of the rules are good and needed for safety,


Agreed

but many of them are just downright dumb


Such as??
But what do I know
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby BriCan » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:55 pm

Wunderdave wrote:This depends heavily on your location.


To the very best of my knowledge location has nothing to do with it, if I was to see a high end health risk no matter the location I would be all over them ~~ but on the other hand if I was to see a 'potential' high end health risk that might and more than likely occur then I would enplane to them what will happen if they keep on going down that road

It is the difference between a good health inspector and a bad one on how they interpret the rules and apply them. I could walk in with a big stick or a kind helpful word ~~ I know which works. :)
But what do I know
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby Wunderdave » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:33 pm

I meant location by nationality. There's similar standards applying to these types of products throughout the first world, though.
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby RodinBangkok » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:05 am

Well, yes there are many many over the top regulations in North America, and Europe. It seems any time there is any recall the corrective action is to change the regulations jump over a bunch of hoops, get in a panick and take that further step to try and make sterile meat product. Which will never happen. The latest case in point is mechanically tenderized meats, refer to this page for some latest info:
http://www.meatingplace.com/Industry/News/Details/42592

This will continue until the industry says enough is enough and put some common sense back into these regulations.

The problems at the local levels with health departments is even worse for resto owners, as these organizations have the power to modify regulations. The regulations at all levels should reference back to one standard. Another case I can think of recently was where a Pacific Northwest state HD suddenly decided that all people working in a resto needed to wear gloves at all times, no scientific backup, or reference to National standards just simply an edict that was later backed down on after resistance.

Common sense needs to prevail, there will always be food illnesses, sterile meat is not possible, and the more western nations try and make it so the worse the immune systems of their citizens will become. Some information of allergies and what all these clean hysteria is doing to your immune systems.

http://www.hygienehypothesis.com

I'm a firm believer in this. Common sense and good practices that existed for many decades have now been replaced by hysterical changes to laws that are doing long term harm, IMHO.

Having a good knowledge of meat processing, also gives one a level of self confidence that is very necessary when dealing with foods, this used to come in the form of common sense taught by family who did the cooking at home and you learned these common sense practices. That is all gone, instead of teaching common sense people are sensitized to believe everything is dirty and contaminated and there are no good bugs out there.

Ok, enough on my soap box, take it for what its worth, but let you kids play in the dirt, they'll thank you some day.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby St-Anthony » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:19 am

Mark W wrote:Would love to hear your opinions on what type of health department and licensing costs someone should expect in this niche of the business?


Here in Quebec the license is $250 per year. I am in the country and have an artesian well so I have to get the water analysed every year $50. I have an extra display in a local grocery store where I sell my sausages, bacon, jerky, meat pies, etc.. $344 a year for the license. They make every owner take a three day sanitation course $300 once. The city license is $60 a year. The number of times I get inspected depends on my last inspection. I always get a B (nobody gets an A) so I get inspected once a year. They always find something to write you up about but you can't argue with them because they have the power of God over us. I wasn't very polite with the new inspector last year when he started to check the weight of my packages. This is a Weight and Measures Canada responsibility and not the provincial inspector's responsibility to check the weights so I don't know how he will rate me the next time he comes in (usually in September)
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby JerBear » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:52 am

I'm dealing with this right now. I was all set to go, all necessary equipment purchased, kitchen rented, insurance purchased.... Inspector comes out and declines to inspect based on my intended business plan (selling ready to eat sausages in buns w/toppings at local brewery tasting rooms). Turns out that there is no classification for my intended plan so thus it's not legally allowable.

I've now spoken to three levels of mgmt in the County Health Dept office and State level and all say the same, however, they're not able to back up their argument with law/codes. I've now started to consult with a lawyer and my local elected official. Shit's driving me nucking futs!
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Re: How Bad are Health Department Regs and Requirements?

Postby St-Anthony » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:42 am

I finally got my inspection in October. They got me on 2 issues. Both me and my wife weren't wearing a hairnet and he asked me if I was taking the temperature of my beans after 6 hrs. of cooling down in the cooler to make sure that they were at 4C. I told him that I finish work at 5 pm and I wasn't about to go to the butcher shop at 11 pm to check the temperature of a batch of beans. So I am still graded as a B. I guess I will see them again next September!
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