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ChristopherMichael

Chocolate Temperers or Enrobers approved by NSF/UL

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Does anyone know of a tempering machine or enrobers that are Nsf or UL approved? I know that Hilliards Little Dipper is and so is Chocovision's. I can never imagine myself using either one of those, but those are the only two I can find that are NSF. I bought a Selmi Plus, but it's not NSF or UL approved and my health department tells me that I can't use it. Has anyone else have this problem? Do you know of any other commercial size temperers or enrobers that are NSF or UL approved. Thanks.

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Check with sollich north america and aasted mikroverk. note that lab eqiupment (as i'm sure you're already aware) is not inexpensive.

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This is pretty odd. I have a hard time thinking the large machines used in the chocolate industry are all sent to the NSF folks for approval. NSF usually really comes to bare when water is involved. Unless you are making ganaches or water based fillings, it really should not be a problem.

Chocolate by itself is considered to be a dry ingredient and as such, different rules apply than those that apply to wet ingredients. Generally, this simply means "smooth and easily cleanable" but stainless steel etc. isn't required.

Hope this helps,

-Art


Amano Artisan Chocolate

http://www.amanochocolate.com/

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In my health dept. training class here in NYC, we were told that some counties and states across the U.S. require NSF-certification for every single food-prep item in the operation, from mixers and refrigerators to ladles and hotel pans. Some of our hotel pans here in my restaurant are simple, steel pans but have NSF-certification.


Brian Ibbotson

Pastry Sous for Production and Menu Research & Development

Sous Chef for Food Safety and Quality Assurance

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This is pretty odd. I have a hard time thinking the large machines used in the chocolate industry are all sent to the NSF folks for approval. 

I have contacted Savy, Mold'art, Sollich, LCM, Bakon, Selmi, and just about everyone that makes/builds chocolate equipment and none of them are NSF or UL approved. According to them, they don't have NSF or UL in Europe, but they do have CE, which all of them are approved for. What I'm finding is that southern Californians do not understand chocolate and don't appreciate it as much as they should, which makes it difficult for me being one of the first. The health department here in Orange County does not really have anything to compare what I'm doing to other shops. There's really not a chocolatier that has broken out of what a Rocky Mountain or See's type candy storesa re doing. We do have one Chuao Chocolatier (store only), but they don't produce here, they produce all their stuff in San Diego.

Is any of your equipment NSF?


Edited by ChristopherMichael (log)

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In my health dept. training class here in NYC, we were told that some counties and states across the U.S. require NSF-certification for every single food-prep item in the operation, from mixers and refrigerators to ladles and hotel pans. Some of our hotel pans here in my restaurant are simple, steel pans but have NSF-certification.

To me, it's all bureaucracy junk.

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So Rocky Mountain must be using UL or NSF approved equipment in Southern California (unless they don't have the 'inspector from hell' that you seem to have). In Canada Rocky Mountain is using Perfect Equipment's temperers and enrobers.

You might want to check with them about UL or NSF.

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So Rocky Mountain must be using UL or NSF approved equipment in Southern California (unless they don't have the 'inspector from hell' that you seem to have).  In Canada Rocky Mountain is using Perfect Equipment's temperers and enrobers. 

You might want to check with them about UL or NSF.

No Rocky Mountains here use enrobers. The only thing I have ever seen them using is Hillard's Little Dipper to coat apples. All of their other confections come already coated from their factory in Colorado.

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You guys are going to get a kick out of this one. The NSF or UL approved equipment must be in a shop that sells to customers directly. But, if you sell wholesale and don't sell directly to consumers, then you can use any equipment you want and it doesn't have to meet any requirements. But wait there's more, I can sell someone elses chocolate that has been produced on the same equipment that I want to use and it's not a problem.

So basically I can sell a billion pieces of chocolate at wholesale and I don't have to abide by the standards if I have a shop that sells one piece of chocolate. Maybe it's me, but am I missing something? I absolutely don't understand this logic. Someone who wholesales millions of pieces of chocolate can use my equipment, but someone making thousands of pieces of chocolate can't. Wooow, I must be a stupid man, because that just looses me.

The other thing is that someone here in the same county, which my health department is in, has two of the exact same Selmi machines. I stated that and they tell me, well we're under staffed, so we can catch everything. Come on.

I serious want to punch someone in the face right now, I'm just glad I'm sitting in front of my computer and not out and about where I will probably walk up to someone and lay them out.

Sorry for my frustration, but you have to live it, to understand it completely.

Before anyone says it, yes I'm extremely nice to the people at the health department and never say anything negative. I understand they're only doing what they think is right, but all I'm asking for is a little consistency and understanding from my position. If there's someone with a few miles of me that use this machine (two of them actually), then why am I not allowed to use them. If there were machines that were NSF and did the job as a Selmi type temperer and enrober, then I would get one, but no one sells NSF or UL approved machine like this.

Gooooood times!


Edited by ChristopherMichael (log)

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Wow, I'm not sure what to say. Maybe you can create two businesses one that manufactures then sells it to the other at wholesale prices. Then you can sell the "other guys" product. They probably would never catch on. Call Michael at Chuao. Best of luck to you.

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Ok. Here's an update for all of you. There's a big fat loophole in the health department's codes. If you plan on selling 60% or more of your product to wholesale accounts, you fall under the category of a wholesaler and not a retail facility. When you fall into the wholesaler category, all the rules for equipment under regular health codes are non-existent, you can use pretty much anything you want.

I just want to say thanks to everyone for your kind words and input. So if anyone has a problem in the future with your health department (especially in CA) remember that you should apply as wholesale and not retail, it should make it easier and less restrictive.


Edited by ChristopherMichael (log)

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Ok. Here's an update for all of you. There's a big fat loophole in the health department's codes. If you plan on selling 60% or more of your product to wholesale accounts, you fall under the category of a wholesaler and not a retail facility. When you fall into the wholesaler category, all the rules for equipment under regular health codes are non-existent, you can use pretty much anything you want.

I just want to say thanks to everyone for your kind words and input. So if anyone has a problem in the future with your health department (especially in CA) remember that you should apply as wholesale and not retail, it should make it easier and less restrictive.

So in retrospect you didn't need the industrial drain either?

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Ahh, *that's* an informational gem. Congrats on finding it! If you get a chance, could you post a reference...a document or authority? I'd like to see to what extent this applies in my area (and have the documentation to prove it). The wholesale/retail distinction is pretty muddy, as lots of us do both.

Ok. Here's an update for all of you. There's a big fat loophole in the health department's codes. If you plan on selling 60% or more of your product to wholesale accounts, you fall under the category of a wholesaler and not a retail facility. When you fall into the wholesaler category, all the rules for equipment under regular health codes are non-existent, you can use pretty much anything you want.

I just want to say thanks to everyone for your kind words and input. So if anyone has a problem in the future with your health department (especially in CA) remember that you should apply as wholesale and not retail, it should make it easier and less restrictive.

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Ok. Here's an update for all of you. There's a big fat loophole in the health department's codes. If you plan on selling 60% or more of your product to wholesale accounts, you fall under the category of a wholesaler and not a retail facility. When you fall into the wholesaler category, all the rules for equipment under regular health codes are non-existent, you can use pretty much anything you want.

I just want to say thanks to everyone for your kind words and input. So if anyone has a problem in the future with your health department (especially in CA) remember that you should apply as wholesale and not retail, it should make it easier and less restrictive.

So in retrospect you didn't need the industrial drain either?

The plumbing is more of a city thing, so I still need to be in code as far as the city is concerned.

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Ahh, *that's* an informational gem.  Congrats on finding it!  If you get a chance, could you post a reference...a document or authority?  I'd like to see to what extent this applies in my area (and have the documentation to prove it).  The wholesale/retail distinction is pretty muddy, as lots of us do both. 

I pretty much received that information by asking a bunch of questions and bugging everyone in the health department and other entities, including NSF themselves. I don't know exactly where the law is written or what it says exactly, I just stumbled on this information with having different conversations with different people and then put two and two together. No one actually gave up the information easily, but I have a tendency to jump into everything head first and ask a ton of questions, then put it together and hope what I come up with is correct. I was told in order to fall under a wholesale operation that you must be proposing to do at least 60% of your volume at wholesale.

To be honest with you, I really don't care to much about retail as I do about wholesale, but I wanted a storefront to get my name out there and to help pay the rent. If I'm going to pay rent, then I might as well pay a tad bit more and hopefully drum up some more business in the retail area to help pay the rent.

Just to make myself clear, if you don't expect to do primarily wholesale, then I wouldn't take a chance and put your business in jeopardy just so you can use the equipment that you want. I will tell you that Selmi is working on getting approved for different standards so more companies can use their equipment here in the states. I also spoke with Bakon and they should have a machine out in a couple of weeks that will be NSF. I believe it's one of their wheel temperers that holds 20 something pounds and costs $3900. So if you plan on doing more retail then wholesale, then these will be options for you. If you guys have any questions, let me know and hopefully I can answer them for you. Keep in mind that I'm not an expect at this subject, but a small guy trying to find out info that the big guys know and take advantage of.

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CM, thanks so much for clarifiying this. Let me know when you open so I can come up. Jack

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Some random thoughts on the NSF issue and health licensing generally.

We've taken the retail licensing approach because we did want to keep the option to open a retail space in the future, but also because, in Colorado, retail licensing is done on a local (county) level and wholesale through the state. We've found the licensing process is a lot easier if you start involving your local health dept rep very early on in the licensing process, before you start construction. Getting their informal feedback on plans (if they're willing to comment,) ask questions about options and generally look for their input and feedback. Keep checking in with them, asking (intelligent!) questions. You'll generate goodwill you can draw on when you hit sticky issues. Doing a local (ie retail) process means your rep is local, and you can reach out to them more often, and usually get better service.

The intent behind the NSF/UL/BISSC/"commercial" rule is to make sure you have equipment that won't create sanitation or food safety issues. Lots of chocolate equipment (especially the more esoteric stuff from overseas) doesn't have US certifications, but that lack shouldn't stop you from using it, if you can convince your local health folks that the machine in question is indeed intended for commercial use, and it doesn't have obvious sanitary maintenance problems.

Every health dept will have a "variance procedure" used to approve exceptions to their rules. Often the variance must come from the State level, but often the local rep can be an advocate for a particular exception. If you can make the case that a specific piece of equipment is critical for the success of your business you can use the variance procedure to get permission for its use. You'll need a rationale for the equipment that isn't based on "this is cheaper for me." The health folks care about food safety, not your costs. If you can say "this manufacturing process cannot be accomplished without this machine" and give them a line of reasoning they can credibly argue with their superiors, you can often get a variance. It helps to have done your homework on other options, having all the facts on hand to show that you know what you're talking about and aren't wasting their time.

$.02

rick

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I've been looking for specifics on the New York State health code and restaurant inspections, and can't find any reference to NSF certification.

I've also seen restaurants using equipment like Mauviel and Bourgeat pans that to my knowledge aren't NSF certified (they arent' stamped with the seal).

NSF is a private organization, not affiliated with any government. It seems strange to me that governemnt agencies would use NSF's certifications as the basis for health codes.

Does anyone have hard facts about this?


Notes from the underbelly

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Not all the rules that apply in CA are going to be applied by Colorado or New York health departments. Unfortunately CA has some of the toughest rules that food establishments must follow, along with many other restrictions from taxes to building permits, etc.., plus it always costs more. Sweet talking a government official usually doesn't work (if ever) to get things done, because they really don't care and they've probably heard all the bull before. Telling them you need to use that equipment, because it's necessary, will probably get you laughed out of the building. If you have never done business in CA before, then you probably can't understand how much they just don't give a crap. It's their way, or hit the road and don't let the door hit you in the ass.

As for hard facts about NSF or UL, I just lived it and that's all the facts that I need. Like I have said in the past, every city, county and state are different and not everyone is going to experience the same thing across the country. I know truffleguy opened up his ship last year in FL and what he experienced was a gift from someone above, because to my understanding, it was extremely easy for him to get up and running (at least as far as government agencies are concerned).

Well I'm done with this aspect of my business start up, now I'm dealing with the building permits and that's becoming as big of an issue. For everyone out there, thank your lucky stars your not in SoCal, because it's a pain in my butt. Anyway, have fun opening up your shops and hopefully you won't have to follow the same difficult rules that I have to.

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