Breweries that invite catering companies to sell food to patrons are facing a county-wide crackdown that could make it harder for customers to drink on anything other than an empty stomach.
For years, pop-up caterers have helped drinkers get food with their beer at small breweries across San Diego. But the county became concerned that the caterers were not following food safety rules, freelancer Ian Anderson writes for us. For instance, about half of caterers did not have access to a hand-washing sink, according to a study of 25 locations.
Catering companies will now have to have a Direct-Sales Catering Permit, while tasting rooms need a newly-created Host Facility Permit.
Marilyn Morrison, owner of Emme’s Catering, said she was bothered by the new rules at first, but now recognizes the need.
“Too many folks have been running like it’s the wild west,” she said.
The new rules took effect in mid-January, but the county is offering a grace period until June. Then, Morrison and others will have to decide if they want to invest what could be thousands of dollars so their businesses qualify for the new permit.