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In Reply to: Food Vending posted by Lazy Bacon BBQ on July 18, 2012 at 09:13:58:
To cater or vend in KS you will need to adhere to State and Local regulations. The KS Dept of Agriculture does indeed handle the licensing of food establishments (fixed and mobile). As Texas Rib Rangers stated you will also have to adhere to any local (county, city, etc) regulations.
Most of the information for the State Regs can be obtained from the Food Code. http://www.ksda.gov/includes/statute_regulations/mainportal/KS_Food_Code05.pdf Yes, the year 2005 is correct. They have not made changes since then. Depending on where in KS you plan to vend/cater you will need to contact the local entities to find out what their Regs are.
If you have a licensed mobile kitchen you can set up and prepare the foods on site. If not you will need to prepare all of your foods at a licensed kitchen (fixed or mobile) and then transport them to your catering/vending location, and hold them, following the Regs for controlling temps, for potentially hazardous foods (cold foods at 41F or lower and hot foods at 135F or higher).
You should also look into liability insurance due to the fact that if someone gets sick you stand to be personally liable. And KS tort law is not kind.
We are in the process of wading through all of this ourselves. We are looking taking a 8x20 cargo trailer and doing a "build" to make it into a licensed mobile commissary.
Another possibility is to make a deal with a biz that has a food license and operate under that license. You would need to prepare all your food there and then transport. You should still look into the insurance though since their insurance would likely not extend to your operation. This is a site I found that deals with vending insurance. http://www.insurance4exhibitors.com/
Your local State Inspector should be able to help you out. Ours was great and emailed us a number of documents that really explained all the rules. To find your local inspector call the KS Dept of Ag (785-296-5600). I spoke with Lisa Tillotson and she contacted our local inspector and I received a call within 15 minutes.
I hope all this helps and good luck!
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