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Are bars that don’t have a permit to cook or serve food allowed to offer a free buffet?

Paul Stephen
StarNews

Q. Are bars that are clubs (with memberships) that don’t have a permit to cook or serve food allowed to have a free buffet to give away to customers? It seems they should be allowed to do so if people are getting it for free and not paying.

A. Who doesn’t love, a free lunch, right? According to N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement special agent David Hales, who heads the agency’s Wilmington district, his office isn’t tasked with regulating an establishment’s decision to provide a free buffet.

He did, however, note that the county health department might have a stake in the owner’s act of generosity. Free or not, Hales said they are still required to play by the basic rules of food safety.

RELATED LINKS:

In North Carolina, are children allowed to sit or eat at the bar in a restaurant?

Why did the ABC board require bars to become private clubs and that patrons must sign in?

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