As I mentioned in another thread I had my annual health inspection today. (FYI, in these parts the Health Dept makes an appointment for the inspection at least a week in advance. Sweet ay?)
Anyway, as a result, he put the K-bosh on my sous vide menu items. It seems we're the first restaurant in the area to serve it. The inspector is all excited about getting the process approved. So we will be working together on it.
I guess they've crossed this bridge already on the left and right coasts.
Same thing happened in NYC back in 06. Health inspectors just weren't prepared for it. There were no guidelines set forth by the government on proper vacuum techniques and cooking sou vide methods. A lot of chefs were pissed when the inspectors made them throw out thousands of dollars worth of product.
They're all caught up to speed now though. Hopefully there was no monetary loss at your restaraunt and this resolves rather quickly. Keep us posted on the progress of these events and good luck.
I'm getting smart in my old age. He wasn't insisting I not serve them but we were about to go on a merry go round, so I told him I had no problem taking them off the menu until we could sort it out. I took my cell phone out of my pocket, called the office and before the inspection was over the new menus were in place.
During the discussion the matter of duck temperature came up. He was unaware that people serve duck less than 165 degrees internal temp. That's when I said I'm yanking it.
It sounds like you're taking the right attitude and approach with the inspector. I'll be very interested to hear about how the process develops and turns out. I'm a little surprised about his comments on duck, though. That's hard to believe.
This is rube country.
That's why we do well. We're an oasis.
OMG they can't approve Sous Vide? I mean they'r doing it on Iron Chef for goodness sake...
We're going to have to go through a process to get it approved. The inpector was actually quite jazzed about working on something new for a change. Now I'm wondering if anyone is the state is doing sous vide because he had very little info to referance.
165F duck breast makes me shudder
Surely they will get the sous vide jitters sorted soon enough. There are obviously protocols in place all over the country that will be available to your local HD for approval.
I too learned a long time ago that the best thing to do is give them a lot of:
"Yes sir we can do that...
We will absolutely do that....
Here, let me take care of that right now..." :)
My current HD is great. I actually believe the guy when he says "we here to help you."
I owned a restaurant in a neighboring town where they had their own inspectors. They were ridiculous and I was always in there face. I'm sorry but you walk into my joint immediately after the lunch rush and start taking temps before we even get a chance to re-stock I'm going to be all over dude, dude's boss and dude's boss's boss. There was an "ole boys club" that wasn't happy I moved into the neighborhood.
We are also getting into sous vide, it seems all we should need is a variance and a HACCP for the items. How do you all (commercially) use your circulators? Do you keep them running during service and just store a certain amount of product in them, or do you cook, chill, then reheat them in another way/method? It seems if you a circulator for holding during service it would make sense to have two, one for holding and one for cooking items.