Mobile food trucks have become the new craze across America – you can find them just about anywhere, serving just about anything you can think of. There are television shows and web sites dedicated just to food trucks! People find mobile food trucks convenient because they come to you, and there are lots of options available in regards to menu items. But is the food being provided by food trucks safe? Every year, millions of people become ill from foodborne illnesses. To help reduce the risk of foodborne illness, many county health departments are requiring that mobile food trucks be required to operate under the same food safety standards as restaurants, including food facility inspections.
Bare hand contact with food is one of the most common causes of foodborne illnesses and a common violation on food trucks. Other common violations include inadequate food temperatures, cross contamination of food preparation surfaces, equipment failures, using food from unapproved food sources, and inadequate hand washing and restroom facilities.
The next time you purchase food from a mobile food truck, check to see that the required permits are displayed, and make sure the food handlers are wearing gloves (the gloves should be changed each time the food handler touches something that could be contaminated, including handling money). Consumers can report violations to their local health department.