Any advice for the Nashville Health Department and food trucks\trailers?

Junior Burger
2012/11/18 21:29:39
Hello all. I am starting a very unique food trailer and am going through the design\build process. According to the Nashville Metro Health Department, they require a 3 compartment sink with drainboards at each end. Because of my really unique design, space is a concern. I sent them a picture of the really small expresso sinks that have drainboards, but they state it is too small for the food I am serving. They seem to think I will be washing a lot of dishes onsite. With the exception of a utentsil hitting the floor, my stuff will be washed in the automatic dishwasher at the required commisary.
I am working to get as much space free as possible, but every inch counts. I checked several other trucks and most did not have drainboards, especially the taco wagons. I just do not want to put in what I think is feasible, only to have metro deny it. I have been told that you can have 1 drainboard and build a shelf above the sinks to act as a drying board.
Does anyone have experience with this, or other issues with the Nashville health department I need to be concerned about?
Nashville is quite young when it comes to food trucks. I travel all over in my current day gig and in Austin, Tampa, and other cities I go to, it seems their health departments are a little more understanding. It seems the brick and mortar restaurants in Nashville do not want the trucks here. I plan to do both, but I will use the trailer to get my food out there and be completely out of debt before I open the brick one.
Thanks for any advice. We need a food truck forum in Nashville.
Re:Any advice for the Nashville Health Department and food trucks\trailers? 2012/11/19 00:16:35
Need a food truck forum in Nashville/ Start one!
Many different cities have started Food Truck Coalitions to promote their businesses jointly.
Here's the one in Phoenix. A year ago there were about 10 members - now count the list -
They collectively use their influence to deal with the Health Depts, city governments that regulate businesses and create awareness among the public as well as promote events. There's strength in numbers and a collective voice.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Any advice for the Nashville Health Department and food trucks\trailers? 2012/11/20 10:39:15
What's so unique about your food trailer that you can't put in the required sinks?
What you think is feasible and what the government wants are two different things.
They have rules and regulations for a reason, there usually is no way around them.
Now, on the other hand you might be able to plead your case with them, but.....
What happens when you work in another area? Are you going to be able to work because you only have what amounts to hand wash sinks?
Ice Cream Man
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Any advice for the Nashville Health Department and food trucks\trailers? 2012/11/21 11:25:30
The Health department is only doing their job.
There is always a way to get variance, if your business model is sound present it to your local council and ask for approval, then you will be the new standard and everyone will have to comply with what you have done.
Re:Any advice for the Nashville Health Department and food trucks\trailers? 2012/11/22 00:35:17
Memphis my knowledge 3 compartments are required plus a hand sink but the size of sinks is not dictated. Not sure if drain boards are dictated but our HD really leans on the drain boards.
But the 3-cptmt sink with drain boards is only five feet long, and what most of us do is flop a huge cutting board over it and use it for a work table.
Shelby County HD is quite lenient as far as food trucks and if it comes down to it, travel here, pass inspection and rest easy. Shelby County HD (actually Department of Environmental Sanitation) will issue state permits along with local ones with the same inspection if you give them another $150. In TN, once you have a state permit number (no matter the jurisdiction in which you got it) you DO NOT need to be re-inspected in any other jurisdiction.