Having potlucks

Discussion in 'Park Management' started by Bluebird Bob, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Bluebird Bob

    Bluebird Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    The park we are now managers in have had potlucks for five years.
    Sometimes there is a charge to cover the park buying a couple of turkeys or hams.
    This year, one of the former rvers, now staying at another park, went to the city of Quartzsite in AZ to complain that we were serving food without a food license.
    This is the first complaint of this type here and we are not sure how to handle it.
    We may charge for the turkey, but people bring other stuff.
    Anybody else had this issue?
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  2. Tallboy

    Tallboy
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    13
    Depends on your county. You should ask them. We are in Pinal County in Arizona. If people are bringing food from home for the potluck. No food license is needed. If someone is cooking out of the park's kitchen those people working in the kitchen need a food license. The cook charges for the turkey and gravy. $4.00 per person and then the rest of us took something. Cook needs food license, people bring food from home no food license.

    Another idea. The park we are at now had this problem when we first got here. The people at the back of the line didn't get much food because of the people farther up took more then they could really eat. I saw people who would take to much food so they could so they could put it in their refrigerator and eat it the next couple of days. My wife is the activity director at this park we are at. Decided to change that. Saw this at a different RV park, the wife and I workamped at. Now she has tables set up to where only 10 to 12 people can sit at them. Put a sign up sheet up so they can decide where they want to sit. Each group then decides on who is taking what and the cook makes the turkey and gravy. The turkey is taken apart in the kitchen and put on dishes and then brought out to each table. Everyone gets fed then. You have a family style type dinner with people you know, or like my wife who signs us up at a table of strangers so she can make new friends.
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  3. FosterImposters

    FosterImposters
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,317
    Likes Received:
    36
    In our ownership park, we ran up against not only the food prep license, but kitchen inspection requirements. (Riverside County, California).
    Took advantage of a neighboring, licensed bar/grill establishment to cook the meats, while the rest of us preped the green beans, potatoes, etc. Was a great way to foster good will with the local watering hole as they were invited to join in the feast as well.
    A donation kitty was heavily salted, to insure we covered their costs...
    :D
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  4. Bluebird Bob

    Bluebird Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks for all the GREAT replies. We are in LaPaz county and called the county health dept.
    They said to make the potlucks a donation and no license is needed. If we want to charge 5-10 bucks for the meal, then whoever is doing the turkey's in the clubhouse should have a food handlers permit. We decided to have a local bar and food place down the street do the cooking and the guests can bring something and we can ASK for a donation to get around the problem.
    Thanks again for the tips!!
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  5. docj

    docj
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    480
    Interesting discussion. Here's a somewhat humorous view of the topic: http://cfs.tamu.edu/2014/11/24/holliday-potluck/ The bottom line is that food safety at potlucks and other "community events" is typically overlooked, but the issue is real. What do you really know about the food handling conditions that applied to any of the items at your potluck? I'm not saying that I'm going to stop eating at potlucks, but maybe I'll think a bit about what foods I do sample there. Some foods are more susceptible to problems than others.
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  6. mdcamping

    mdcamping
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    482
    agreed.
    Comes down to taking ownership of your own decisions.... eat at your own risk.

    I'm making a old family recipe for our company X-mas party, teriyaki chicken wings... very tasty! :cool:

    Mike
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  7. Bluebird Bob

    Bluebird Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    Interesting.....haven't thought about how the food is cooked by our potluckers.
    Don't know if there is an answer to this problem.
    The people in the park look forward to having these each year.
    Just had one today and had 32 people bring stuff.
    So far.....so good....:rolleyes::D
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  8. mdcamping

    mdcamping
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    482
    We love potlucks, been to a bunch with the Rv.net rallies! I'll take RV cooking over any hotel or restaurant dish anytime!

    and of course no one does cajun shrimp like me!... I'm not bragging though... ;)
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  9. docj

    docj
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    480
    I'm not advocating giving up potlucks, but I think you can see that there can be valid public health concerns when a potluck becomes a sizable event. At a small affair the impact of a tainted dish would be limited but, for example, we just attended a Xmas party for >200 people that was a combination of a professionally prepared main course supplemented by dozens of contributed dishes. I know the main course was prepared in a commercial kitchen by a staff with food safety training, but no one had a clue as to how any of the other dishes were prepared, nor was there any control over the transport of those dishes from their point of origination to the event. What temperatures were the hot and cold dishes kept at during transport? Balancing public safety with people's desires to enjoy a party is a non-trivial task.
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  10. HappiestCamper

    HappiestCamper
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    16
    One thing is obvious - the former tenant got really mad, and for whatever reason he's trying to get revenge. At least his rule breaking is another park's problem now.
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  11. puddleduck

    puddleduck
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    4
    I guess we could all go to Chipoltle
     
    Paythebill, RickB and HappiestCamper like this.
  12. FosterImposters

    FosterImposters
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,317
    Likes Received:
    36
    Was just thinking the same thing. Of all the times in my life, that I've been ill from food poisoning, it's always been from eating at a restaurant.
    Now the percentages would be in favor of this eventuality, as potlucks are just not the norm for me.
    I HAVE (finally) learned to avoid raw fish delicacies when I've got a plane to catch the next morning... :(
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  13. treesprite

    treesprite
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    78
    I know this is an old thread, but it is the most recent on this topic....

    The place my family may be purchasing soon has always had potlucks (I've attended many of them), for which the owner cooks hotdogs outside on a grill. They don't cook any of the food in the lodge kitchen, nor allow guests to use the kitchen. I was concerned about regulations and licensing, so I did some research a while back. In that region, potlucks do not need permits IF the food is all contributed rather than prepared, and IF there is no charge for the food. Food served as a courtesy, like coffee in a pot free for waiting customers, does not require a permit or anything (at least not here). Food items that are pre-packed and are sold just as merchandise in the store are not a problem. However, the cooked food items are a problem if any campground staff participate in preparing them or if the kitchen that is in the lodge for staff convenience is used for any of the food prep. The only solution I have is to make sure I'm selling huge packs of hotdogs at a 99% discount from the camp store, so guests can purchase them and prepare them on the grill themselves.
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  14. NYDutch

    NYDutch
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    485
    A family RV park we used a few years ago had weekly pot lucks where the park supplied the cooked meat, but they did no on-site cooking. Instead, they just picked up pre-ordered roaster chickens, turkeys, etc, from a local grocery store deli shortly before meal time. A serving table with heat lamps kept the hot foods hot with the guest contributions self-served buffet style. As each guest went through the line, a server put the meat on their plate providing portion control. Seconds weren't allowed until everyone was served...
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  15. treesprite

    treesprite
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    78
    I think most people don't want the higher cost of doing it that way.
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  16. NYDutch

    NYDutch
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    485
    As I recall the park manager said it cost about $40 for the pre-cooked meat. I think a Walmart ready to eat roasted chicken runs about $5, so $40 would feed a fair number of people. My wife thinks they had a donation bucket, but she's not sure...
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  17. treesprite

    treesprite
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    78
    I guess I will have to check that out. In the grocery store those things are more, and I think a lot would be needed. People really hog up at the potlucks. People new to the campground or who are just potluck guests (due to advertising in the community) often don't bring food so it runs out fast except those hot dogs.

    I'm curious as to whether most campgrounds potlucks and events are open to non-camping guests.
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  18. NYDutch

    NYDutch
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    485
    I've been to campground potlucks where a few locals that had helped the park in some way were invited and recognized, but not a general public invitation. Guests staying at the park sometimes bring their own guests, but that usually doesn't amount to many additional servings.

    The park that uses the store prepared meat also uses volunteer servers that manage portion control to minimize hogging.
     
    Paythebill likes this.
  19. treesprite

    treesprite
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    78
    I'm wondering where the boundary is for campground staff who would bring items cooked in their personal homes/sites during time they aren't on the clock.
     
    Paythebill likes this.

Share This Page