Wanna build a Food Truck? Hot Dog Cart? Great!

 

Before you build or modify unit verify what codes you must follow to get your permit.

Codes vary by local health departments, not state, and we do not know this information.

 

My health department doesn't care, they won't look...

We hear this many times and then get the call needing a different tank send over-night to meet a deadline.

To save YOU time and money check first.

 

The person who built my food truck said the inspector won’t care.

This is incorrect information from the builder and often after you have already paid for parts and services you are stuck paying for new items and installation, check first and ask that correct items be included in the build before beginning a project.

 

Example of how difficult getting a mobile food unit permit can be, check first and get approval.



What to ask on Fresh and Gray Water Tanks

Size (Gallons / Measurements)  Health Departments require Gray tank to be larger than Fresh

Fittings (Size / Placement / Materials)

Filling Procedure (Lockable Fill Dish / Materials)

Tank Placement (Inside / Outside of unit)

Clean Out Requirements

 

Water Tank Calculation Examples

Multiply (fresh tank size) x 1.15 (1 . 15%) = Tank needed

30 x 1.15 (15%) = 34.50

30 x 1.50 (50%) = 45

 




FREE RESOURCES

Frank Baltierrez - How to Build a Food Truck Youtube Series

ServSafe Manager Practice Tests --- These are for practice only current tests will vary.

NYC Health Department - Free Online Course

State Food Safety - Disaster Relief Food Safety Training

CDC Center for Disease Control Food Safety Videos

Iowa State University of Science and Technology - Food Service Employee Training Videos

 

EXAMPLES OF MOBILE FOOD UNIT TERMS

These are examples of terms and requirements that you may encounter.

ALWAYS check your local health department where the inspection will be made for requirements.

 

Mobile Food Unit: Any vehicle that is self-propelled or that can be pulled or pushed down a sidewalk, street, highway or waterway, on which food is prepared, processed, or converted or which is used in selling and dispensing food to customers. Mobile food units must be capable of being mobile at all times during operation. The wheels of the unit may not be removed from the unit at the operating location. Most mobile food units require a commissary for rapidly cooling foods, food washing, overnight storage, and dish washing facilities. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Unattended Mobile Food Unit Prohibited: No MFU shall be parked on the street overnight or left unattended and unsecured at any time food is kept in the MFU. Any MFU which is found to be unattended in this manner shall be considered a public safety hazard and may be ticketed and impounded. Additionally, after a Vendor is done operating on private property for the day, the MFU must be relocated to a site other than the private property on which it was operating, unless that private property is also the commissary for the MFU.

 

Plan Review: Conducted by the Regulatory Authority by reviewing the menu, equipment list, and layout of the unit for several reasons; 1) To make sure the unit will be in compliance with the regulations, 2) to prevent any misunderstandings by the applicant/owner, and 3) allows the RA to become familiar with the operation, the owner, and potential for future problems before the unit is permitted. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Identification: Each mobile food unit must be clearly marked with the licensee's name or a distinctive identifying symbol. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Water Supply: Mobile food units must use water from an approved water supply and be designed to provide a sufficient capacity to meet operational needs. The system must be of sufficient capacity to furnish enough hot and cold water for food preparation, dish washing, and hand washing. Materials used in the construction of mobile food unit water tanks and plumbing must be made of safe (food or drinking water grade) materials. All connecting hoses must be food grade and clearly identified as to their use (so as not to be mistakenly used for another purpose).  A backflow prevention device must be installed at one hose connection bib to prevent backflow into the clean water system. Check local codes for requirements.

 

 

Sewage Disposal: All liquid wastes must drain into an approved wastewater tank. All liquid waste from the waste tank or from cleaning activities such as cleaning the mobile food unit must be captured and properly disposed of in the sanitary sewer. Wastewater can not be dumped onto the ground, onto the streets, or into a storm a drain. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Power Source: Mobile food unit must have an appropriate power source (e.g., generator or plugged into an electrical source) to ensure food sanitation requirements are met at all hours of operation (e.g., provide proper cold holding, hot holding, and meet hand washing and dish washing hot water requirements). Check local codes for requirements.

 

Hot Water: Hot water generation and distribution systems must be sufficient to meet the peak hot water demands for hand washing facilities, dish washing, and other operations of the mobile food unit. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Hand Washing Facilities: The location of hand washing facilities must be convenient and readily accessible to all operations. Mobile food units must have plumbed hand washing facilities with water under pressure. The use of hand washing facilities is restricted to hand washing only. A splash guard around the handsink to prevent splashing cross contamination. Check local codes for requirements.

 

 

Dish Washing: All utensils and equipment must be washed in a 3-compartment sink (capable of washing the largest utensil or equipment) or commercial dishwasher. Check with local code for smaller units that do not have dish washing sinks. Check local codes for requirements.

 

 

 

 

Indirect Waste: Any piece of equipment utilized to hold food or ice that is equipped with a drain must have indirect waste plumbing. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Potentially Hazardous Food: A food that is natural or synthetic and is in a form capable of supporting the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms, or the growth and toxin production of clostridium botulinum. “Potentially hazardous food” includes an animal food that is raw or heat-treated, a food of plant origin that is heat-treated or consists of raw seed sprouts, cut melons, and garlic and oil mixtures. Check local codes for requirements.

 

 

Food Handler Cards: All food service workers who handle food, drinks, or utensils must have a valid Food Handler Card. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Food Sources: All foods, beverages and ice must be obtained from an approved source. Any food preparation or food storage done off-site must be accomplished at a licensed food establishment.  No home prepared or home canned foods or foods that have been stored in a home are allowed. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Cold Holding: Adequate refrigeration must be provided to ensure potentially hazardous foods are held at correct temperature. Each refrigeration unit must be equipped with either a built-in thermometer or be provided with a numerically scaled spirit stem thermometer. Thermometers must be located to measure the air temperature in the warmest part of the refrigerator and located in an area where the thermometer is easy to read. Check local codes for temperatures.

 

Hot Holding: Adequate equipment to hold hot potentially hazardous food must be provided. Check local codes for temperatures.

 

Rapid Cooling: The best way to keep food safe is to make it fresh each day, just before you serve it. If you have food that is leftover or made in advance, you must cool this food rapidly at a facility with equipment designed for rapidly cooling foods. Check local codes for temperatures.

 

Rapid Reheating: Potentially hazardous food that has been cooked, cooled, and reheated for hot holding must be reheated with appropriate methods and heating - Check local codes for temperatures.

 

Probe Thermometer: Check local codes for requirements.

 

Date Marking: Ready-to-eat potentially hazardous foods that will not be used within a day must be date marked with either the preparation date, use-by date, or date the commercial package was open. Check local codes for requirements.

 

 

 

Storage: Adequate storage equipment is required to assure that all food, food containers, and single service utensils are stored at least six inches above the floor, or on a four inch high platform (or wheeled platforms). Storage shelves must be smooth, impervious, and easily cleanable. Food may not be stored in areas such as under sinks with exposed or unprotected sewer lines or water lines. Toxic items must be stored and labeled to allow for proper use and prevent contamination of food and food contact surfaces. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Auxiliary Storage: Auxiliary storage is limited to items necessary for one day of operation. Auxiliary storage must be in impervious, nonabsorbent, covered containers and stored in a way that prevents contamination and meets food safety requirements. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Produce: Produce must be washed at a licensed facility in a sink with indirect waste. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Equipment: All equipment should be easy to clean and maintained in good repair. All metal equipment should be free of rust and corrosion. Rusty/corroded metal equipment should be replaced or refinished in an approved manner. Wooden surfaces must be finished to provide a washable surface. All stationary equipment should be installed to allow easy cleaning beneath and/or behind equipment. Check local codes for requirements. Documents of Approved Appliance Testing.

 

Self-Service: Self-service foods within customer reach that are not prepackaged must be protected from customer contamination by a sneeze shield or other approved means. Condiments such as ketchup containers and salsas must be dispensed to protect foods from contamination. Condiments must be dispensed from the mobile food unit. Auxiliary storage may not be used for self-service, assembly, or preparation activities. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is required to prevent grease or condensation from collecting on walls and ceilings. Please check with local city and/or county building and fire departments regarding requirements. Do I need a Fire Inspection? Fire Extinguisher? Ancillary Fire Suppression System Check local codes for requirements.

 

Wall, Floor, and Overhead Protection: Floors, walls, and ceilings must be finished, smooth, and easily cleanable. All outer openings must be protected to prevent the entrance of insects, rodents, and contamination from weather elements.

Overhead protection must be provided for mobile food units that are operated outdoors and where food is not covered at all times. Examples of overhead protection include roofing, ceilings, awnings, or umbrellas. Overhead protection is not required for barbecue units that have a lid or covering that will protect foods from contamination. The overhead protection must be maintained in good repair. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Lighting: Adequate lighting must be provided. Light bulbs must be shielded or shatter resistant. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Doors and Windows: Exterior doors must be rodent proof (clearance may not exceed 1/4 inch and should be as tight-fitting as possible). All openings to the outer air must be screened to prevent fly entry. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Employee Personal Items: Employee personal items such as jackets, purses, medicines, etc., must be stored separately from food preparation areas and in a manner to prevent contamination. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Garbage Disposal: Must be disposed of at an approved, sanitary garbage disposal site or at base of operations. Garbage facilities at the base of operations must be located in an area with a hard, nonabsorbent surface such as cement or asphalt. Outside containers must be covered and adequately sized. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Hazard: A biological (microorganism), chemical (cleansers, pesticides), or physical (fingernail, plastic) property that may cause an unacceptable consumer health risk. Check local codes for requirements.

 

Smokefree Workplace Law: Check local codes for requirements.

 

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