Dry Aged Beef and the Health Department

Joined May 14, 1999
I have heard it said that county health inspectors tend to freak out over those facilities which dry age their own beef; that many health inspectors know nothing about the proceedure and are notoriously distrustful and critical of those who use these methods. While they may ultimately accept dry aging, they do so with reluctance.

Can someone here comment on this?

Thank you!

-Chef Ron
Joined Aug 7, 2008
I guess the first thing I should say is hello neighbor! It really is a small world.
I'm not sure what kind of feed back you are looking for here. Dry aging has special refrigeration/humidity requirements. If you have concerns about this give your health inspector a call. A little advance communication goes a long ways. There are some smaller dry aging units available. Go to the Rochester Whole Foods on University and you sill see one behind the meat counter. AFAIK it's no longer in use so they often have posters or ads on it.
There is also a small dry aging room in the Capital Grill at the Somerset mall.
In my experience how distrustful or critical your health inspector is more often than not is based on the working relationship you have with him/her.
Joined Dec 6, 2013
Great discussion Chefs!  You're actually my neighbors as well (within 30-45min)!  I am going through this same issue with my brand new restaurant in Imlay City (The Mulefoot Gastropub).  We quite literally make EVERYTHING from scratch and the Lapeer County Health Dept is pretty concerned about the dry aging as well as various other fermentation/preservation techniques.  God forbid I purchase ingredients directly from local farms and preserve them for the winter!  Have you had success in convincing your inspectors? If so, how did you go about it? What appeased them?

Thanks Chefs!

Michael Romine
Joined Dec 9, 2013
I think DuckFat is on queue. If you don't work with the inspector and they dock you for non wholesome food, that could be a blow.

We dry aged for a few years a long time ago. I never caught any flack over it, but our health department rarely ever visited us either. Today, I'm sure it would be a lengthy debate with my inspector.
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