ServSafe is a national certification for food handlers. I have to pass the test before I can even register for pre-requisite culinary classes- my test day is December 8. I began studying for the test today- chapter 2 on pathogens is a toughie- but a lot of the stuff is common sense and/or interesting enough to remember.
I'm going chapter by chapter, making outlines, taking end-of-chapter tests, and doing pretty well so far. But the deeper I get, one thing keeps occurring to me: In the little local, seasonal cafe of my dreams, everything I want to do is illegal.
Real food, by federal SafeServ standards, is considered pathogenic. Here's the list of road-bumps so far.
-Real milk and cheese? Check. Real milk illegal in Michigan, but real cheese can be served after 60-days' aging. Unclear if I can make it in-house, though.-Local, backyard/ community garden suppliers? May have to jump through crazy hoops for certification- especially with the new hyper-restrictive, over-legislated Food Bills (I'm looking at you, SB510) coming through. Check.
-Garden or greenhouse out back? Probably- if it's not an "approved supplier"- Check. (I smell zoning troubles, too.)
-Worms to recycle kitchen waste? Likely considered vermin. Check.
-Making or handling "unusual" foods- you know, freaky stuff like lacto-fermented foods or on-site smoked meats- will require Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures and will be a Giant Pain in the Butt.