A food truck is essentially a mobile or semi-mobile vehicle, usually equipped with a kitchen, to cook, prepare and serve food. The most well known type of food truck – a hot dog cart – has come under fire in recent years because of the health risks associated with food cooked on the vehicle’s outdoor grill. Grand Rapids Food Truck offers excellent info on this. Some, such as ice cream carts, sell pre-packed or frozen food; other carts have on-board cooking facilities and prepare food directly from scratch, often using microwaves or ovens already installed in the vehicle. Hot dog carts have also been banned from public school cafeterias, due to the possibility of food poisoning. In recent years, restaurants that feature food truck or carts as an element of their menu have gained popularity, particularly in cities that have experienced a rise in food truck or cart business.
Because food trucks are usually small or compact vehicles,requires them to be maintained at a high level of cleanliness. Citing a food truck that has not been cleaned properly can result in significant fines, such as those cited for having unclean, unorganized storage areas or food containers that have not been sanitized after each use. Sanitation violations per inspection of food trucks can result in citations or warnings being placed on the operator’s license for subsequent offenses.
In an effort to ensure a safer food preparation and service operation, food truck operators should make sure that all kitchen equipment, utensils, cutting boards, knives, hot plates, cleaning equipment, and more is kept clean and sanitized after each use. This includes wiping down cutting boards and utensils to remove any excess food particles, using disposable plastic hand towels instead of dishwashing soap, and cleaning the water and/or food containers, prior to re-use. In addition, it is recommended that food trucks are vaccinated against germs and other harmful bacteria during food processing. Keeping a clean kitchen can help ensure that employees remain free of food borne illness, which often results in severe injuries and even fatalities.