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Patio29Dadio

CA County Health Department Crazy

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Does anyone with a California Craft Distillery tasting room have any experience with their county health department putting them in a category of "food facility" (basically a restaurant as any retail bar license must also serve food) instead of allowing the same exemptions provided brewery and winery tasting rooms?   My county is basically saying that I cannot operate a tasting room unless I am in full compliance with food facility rules which includes a great number of things... some of which we luckily have... but others that we would have to install.  And example is specific NSF certified underbar equipment (like handwashing stations) in our tasting room... a tasting room that has no plumbing.   I think they are nuts and taking a lazy-ass and onerous position.  The 2011 health code changes exempted beer and wine tasting rooms but distillery tasting rooms were only allowed in CA beginning 2015... with some enhancements in 2017.   You would think that any half-brained bureaucrat would understand the spirit (pun not intended) and intent of the 2011 code as applied to craft distillery tasting rooms... especially since they are more restricted than beer of wine for what they can serve (1.5 oz per person per day).   I have determined that every government employee in the state is committed to making it more difficult to start and run a business in the state. 

 

UPDATE... well the inspector came out and was actually quite a nice guy and made some onsite decisions in my favor.  And thus I am left with confirmation that is generally the system that is problematic not the people.  

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If you don't have plumbing in your tasting room, how do your employee's wash their hands? It does not seem onerous to expect this extremely basic level of hygiene before serving the public something they will be putting into their body.

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11 hours ago, Tom Lenerz said:

If you don't have plumbing in your tasting room, how do your employee's wash their hands? It does not seem onerous to expect this extremely basic level of hygiene before serving the public something they will be putting into their body.

Sorry.  I did not explain well enough.  We have, right outside the tasting room the employee bathroom and then the bottling area which has an ice maker, triple-sink with drainboards, dishwasher, etc.   We have a bathroom in the tasting room too.   We just purposely did not put any plumbing into the main area of the tasting room area as we were making the case it was a simple tasting room and not a bar.   The county said it does not matter... we are a bar by classification and thus need all the equipment required in a bar..., but at the minimum a hand-wash sink.

But they compromised in the end...

 

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