Fundraiser almost shut down because of lack of permit

Bayou Gauche’s Fisherman’s Wharf told they needed food license in order to host benefit lunch

By Heather R. Breaux
February 18, 2009 at 11:01 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A benefit lunch for Todd “Duck” LeBlanc was nearly cancelled after the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said the Fisherman’s Wharf did not possess a food license.
Thelezia Folse/Herald-Guide
A benefit lunch for Todd “Duck” LeBlanc was nearly cancelled after the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said the Fisherman’s Wharf did not possess a food license.
When planning a fundraiser, the check list of things to do can take on a life of its own, especially if you don’t have your permits in order.

That’s right, permits.

A plate-lunch benefit to help raise money for Todd “Duck” LeBlanc’s excessive medical expenses was nearly shut down last weekend after event organizers received word from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, who said that the facility hosting the fundraiser was not properly licensed for cooking food. 

According to the DHH, the Fisherman’s Wharf in Bayou Gauche does not possess the state-required licenses for the preparation and selling of food, therefore, no one can cook on the bar’s premises.

The DHH also states that the business is not required to  have a food preparation license because it is zoned as a barroom and not a restaurant.

After contacting the board, organizers were told that they could go forward with the fundraiser as long as the plate lunches were prepared off-site.

Therefore, benefit organizers prepared the plate lunches at the Des Allemands ballpark, which is properly licensed, and then transported them to the bar, where the food was kept hot in crock pots and other warming kitchen aids.

DHH guidelines specifically state that all fundraiser-type benefits where food is sold, must be held at a facility with the proper licenses.

If not, the event can be closed down and the host business or organization can be fined.

“This state law is designed to protect Louisiana’s citizens,” said Jolie Adams, public information officer for the DHH. “Anyone who plans on preparing or selling food at a business or organization needs to have a permit to do so,
“These permits, whether temporary or annual, are issued through parish governments.”

Adams adds that the only organizations not required by the DHH to obtain a permit are officially declared fairs and festivals, but points out that in most cases, the festival insurers require the permits.

This means that all churches, bars and other organizations must obtain a preparation and selling permit in order to legally cook food.

For more information, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov.




View other articles written By Heather R. Breaux

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