How To Pass Food Truck Health Inspections

Whether you’re slicing cold cuts on a sub or creating a spin on tacos, a bad health inspection could mean the end to your mobile kitchen or concession trailers.

With the rapidly growing industry and local authorities catching up and trying to regulate street vending and public gatherings, you may want to make sure that you understand the local Department of Health (DOH) rules and regulations.

At Master Chef Mobile Kitchens we have gathered together a few tips to help you make the grade and keep your food truck permitted and on the street.

Food Truck Health Inspection Basics

Just like regular, non-van-based restaurants, food trucks are subject to health inspections. The goal of the health inspector is not to be a jerk and come down on you for trying to make a buck with your chuck, but to keep the public safe. 

According to a report by the CDC, 48 Million people get some form of food borne illness. Every year 3,000 people die from foodborne illnesses, so it’s safe to say that the health inspector has a very important job.

There are 3 different types of health inspections that you may encounter:

Routine Inspection: Expect to be inspected on a yearly basis. It can happen at any time and often comes without warning.
Complaint Inspection:
If a customer gets sick, they may file a complaint. The health department will perform an inspection to verify whether the complaint was valid.
Follow-Up Inspection:
The inspector’s goal isn’t to shut you down, but to keep people safe. If you do end up with any violations from the other 2 types of inspections, the inspector will often give you a chance to fix things and perform another inspection at a later date to make sure you made the proper changes.

So how do you make sure you are ready to pass these inspections? Follow these tips below:

1. Inspect yourself

Don’t wait for the surprise DOH inspection to find out if you are up to code. Do your own inspections. If you have employees, make it a surprise just like the real thing. You want to get an accurate picture of what’s happening in your kitchen-on-wheels so that you can make sure to fix problems before they get any worse.

2. Don't take your eyes of the food guys!

The biggest thing that the health inspector is going to be looking at is how you are taking care of your food. They’ll be checking temperatures on cold, stored food as well as hot food to make sure they are within safe ranges. You’ll want to make sure you have adequate refrigeration to accomplish this. 

Inspectors will also be checking that cooked and raw food are stored separately. Cross contamination between raw and cooked food is a major issue and will hurt your score if they find it.

You must also make sure that you are dating stored food properly to avoid things going bad or serving food past its prime.

3. they will check..

The inspection will also observe the behavior of your employees. They will be checking that employees are properly washing their hands. They will make sure that cooks are using food thermometers to assure that the food being sent out is safe for consumption. 

Health inspectors will also make sure employees are clean, well-groomed, and wearing everything they are supposed to wear.

4. Pass That Inspection, then Pass Me the Hot Sauce!

Passing your food truck inspection is crucial to succeeding in your culinary venture. Stay prepared and run a tight ship so that you can bring home the bacon.

Talk to your local DOH, and ask them to provide you with a copy of the rules and regulations that they enforce on Mobile units. As a leading custom food truck manufacture if we are not familiar with your states local regulations, we will reach out to the responsible authority on behalf of the client to get their local mobile units rules and regulations.

Just like you try to keep competitive pricing on you menu, try keep to your truck or trailer clean and up to par with your states regulations.

If you have any questions regarding permits, please reach out to us via email or phone.