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Certification Issues

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  • Certification Issues

    Happy New year all!

    Advice, experience sharing would be appreciated- I'm enjoying my home oven immensely and would like to build a mobile unit and work fundraisers and such.

    Following the guidelines in Joseph's invaluable Rolling in the Dough manual--

    My county health department appears to be taking the stance that the ourdoor oven must carry a ansi/ul certification for me to be an approved mobile food unit operator.

    Anyone had any experience with this issue. I love the Forno units, but economics here dictate i build my own.

    thanks,
    Ben
    sigpic
    Lovin my Oven

    Ben Ciliberto, Doylestown Pa

    Oven Pics Link- http://picasaweb.google.com/bciliber...OfTheTwoHearts

  • #2
    Re: Certification Issues

    I'm hearing the same thing from my Health Department.
    I'm thinking this (UL certification) needs to be the next step forward for Forno Bravo ovens.
    James?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Certification Issues

      Get a copy of the Code and look for yourselves. The environmentalist can get it for you even if it's just a photocopy of the relevant section. It'll read like a law book but it's usually worth digging into personally when trying to get something unusual passed. The guy may make an honest mistake - or just not want to do additional paperwork. Almost all codes have possible exceptions so it often pays to be familiar with the regulations yourself.

      Being in PA you might get lucky - try searching for 'public health laws' and see if the Code is already online. If you can find it (I'm too lazy) I can probably help you decypher it if you need a hand. I speak rather fluent 'legaleze' and I'm not too shabby in 'bureaucratic administrative gobbledy gook'.

      Basically, I'm a law geek with insurance claims experience who evidently needs a life...
      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

      "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
      [/CENTER]

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Certification Issues

        Saga continues, and worsens...

        turns out that in our County, if I want to do business commercially the Mobile Food Unit- must in effect be a .."mobile restaurant"-- floors, walls, windows, sinks etc-- the oven must be inside the trailer or vehicle. Me inside with it. Only packaged cooked food, wrapped in a commissary kitchen, can be served from outside the unit.

        I got the UL specs, haven't studied them yet because the above was pretty disheartening.

        If I want to limit my selling from any one location for no more than 14 days a year, there may be some hope for a mobile trailer unit-- not sure I want to limit myself and have them on my back-- big investment of time and money.
        sigpic
        Lovin my Oven

        Ben Ciliberto, Doylestown Pa

        Oven Pics Link- http://picasaweb.google.com/bciliber...OfTheTwoHearts

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Certification Issues

          Definitely get a copy of the code then. Find out if there any exceptions or if there's a way to obtain a variance. If it is a county ordinance or regulation, you might can go to the county commission and get an exception made. Depends on how reasonable they are.

          Don't give up! Bureaucracy only wins when you quit...



          ... Or die of old age waiting for them to do something...

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

          "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
          [/CENTER]

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Certification Issues

            I have run into this problem many times with my county health dept. I am convinced that they hire idiots. I have a small jam business, specializing in handmade jams. I sell these at local bazaars directly to the public. The health dept cannot figure out how to classify my business. If I am a fruit processer, then I can only sell wholesale and not to the public. If I am a commisary, I can sell to the public but I cannot vacuum process (can) food. Since I don't fit on there forms anywhere, I effectly cannot do business and meet the requirments.
            It is all a process of classification. Find a classification that allows you to do what you want and call it that. I ended up calling my business a commisary and I just don't tell them I am canning. I will be completely changing my certification this year from the dept of health to the dept of agriculture. The Dof A is much more ready to work with me on meeting requirements and allowing me to actually make and sell a product. I call the dept of health the dept of NO.

            Maybe you could tell them that you are only delivering pizzas. Make the ingredients ( dough balls and sauce) in your certified kitchen and them make deliveries in you heated masonry travel container.
            Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Certification Issues

              Originally posted by brokencookie View Post
              ...

              Maybe you could tell them that you are only delivering pizzas. Make the ingredients ( dough balls and sauce) in your certified kitchen and them make deliveries in you heated masonry travel container.
              Thirty minutes or less....


              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

              "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
              [/CENTER]

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Certification Issues

                It's Official!

                I delivered my plans from "Rolling in the Dough" -- equipment, site layout, oven, food list all in the book with pics to the Health Department tis morning---

                Got a straightforward answer--

                Temporary license- good for 3 events a year provided i have the gear; no way for a permanent mobile food unit. Mobile food unit must be entirely enclosed room with floor, walls, ceiling, windows, screens... and the oven inside. That's what would be required for say a weekly farmers market or flea market etc.

                No go for catering either, that would require a Mobile food unit license.

                I think the real issue here is not health standards, but class warfare-- the county doesn;t want street vendors. just a hunch ;-)!

                I'd suggest that "Check with your local Health Department" be #1 on your planning list, prior to spending your dollars.

                Thanks Broken cookie-- I'm rethinking my business plan more along the Dept of Ag lines--
                anyonther tips you can share, or links, whatever would be appreciated.

                Good luck all-- at least they can;t stop me giving them away, 24 guests for pregame pizza on Sunday-- Go Eagles!!!!
                sigpic
                Lovin my Oven

                Ben Ciliberto, Doylestown Pa

                Oven Pics Link- http://picasaweb.google.com/bciliber...OfTheTwoHearts

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Certification Issues

                  Ben,
                  PizzaManMike does sell trailers, enclosed, with a Forno Bravo oven inside. Reasonable prices too and he's great to communicate with. Just a thought.
                  Also, are you too far from the stateline to consider business in a neighboring state?
                  Karen

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Certification Issues

                    That stinks. If there were the remotest chance I'd ever move that far north I'd definitely check PA off my list.


                    By the by, have you ever heard of Pennsic? It's a two week event - bet you could sell some serious pizza there and mobile ovens are period....

                    Er, wait, not so sure pizza is period... Actually, I'm pretty sure it's not. Nevermind...

                    Hope the Ag route works out for you.
                    Last edited by Archena; 01-16-2009, 07:45 PM.
                    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                    "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
                    [/CENTER]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Certification Issues

                      Originally posted by BCiliberto View Post
                      Mobile food unit must be entirely enclosed room with floor, walls, ceiling, windows, screens... and the oven inside.
                      Ben, How picky are they? - sound like you could drop that puppy inside of a camper shell and be golden.
                      Check out my pictures here:
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

                      If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Certification Issues

                        Just another stray thought that might allow you to adhere to the letter of the law. Do they require the oven to be inclosed or just the mouth of the oven. Maybe you could enclose the oven and have the entry on the outside. Pop up a screen tent next to the unit. Then you can have someone assembling pizzas in the unit. Pass them out via peel to the outside where you load it into the oven. Remove from the oven, pass back through the unit to the customer. The customer is welcome to move to the side to view the cooking process.

                        Bruce
                        Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Certification Issues

                          They are looking for units like this:

                          Custom Mobile Food Equipment

                          Custom Mobile Food Equipment

                          with the oven inside;


                          walls, floors, ceiling, all painted and cleanable. a mobile restaurant.



                          long way from an oven on a trailer and a screened in porch.

                          I'm going to investigate Archena's DOAg stuff more...

                          County inspector told me what I showed him would probably be fine in Philadelphia (25 miles away); I'd just need kevlar and security!
                          sigpic
                          Lovin my Oven

                          Ben Ciliberto, Doylestown Pa

                          Oven Pics Link- http://picasaweb.google.com/bciliber...OfTheTwoHearts

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Certification Issues

                            Hi Ben,

                            I came across your thread through reading of the metal dome oven and you having the 500 gal propane tank. I've been dreaming up a similar idea for the last year, involving one of those large steel buoys as an oven mounted on a trailer. Much more fun to think about than the code... I'm interested if you have started work yet on your metal oven? What is the diameter of the tank dome? The buoy I'm looking at is 48" round. Should work I assume going for 48" across, 24" high...

                            john

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Certification Issues

                              Hi John,

                              I have the truck, the tank cut up (42" diam dome), the wheel rim cut for the opening, and I have been on hold for 7 weeks due to weather and business. I'm working in an unheated barn, until it's been pretty bitter here until last weekend.

                              Also I had to root on our Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs-- we served 1 people stromboli's and pizza at a pregame championship party (would have had no appetitie after the game ); i really enjoy serving up the pizza!

                              I'll get back to work soon, and I'll be posting pics. Wiley has provided some great advice-- he really had a great idea!

                              I figure if i have the mobile working by May that will be good.

                              The issues with the Health Department took a little steam; but i still want even if i can't have a business per se.
                              sigpic
                              Lovin my Oven

                              Ben Ciliberto, Doylestown Pa

                              Oven Pics Link- http://picasaweb.google.com/bciliber...OfTheTwoHearts

                              Comment

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