Los Angeles Food Trucks Beat Out Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant in Health Inspections: Study

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A nationwide study finds that sanitary conditions for food trucks -- including ones in LA -- are comparable to and in some cases better than those of actual restaurants. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Marina del Rey for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, 2014.

    For all of the Angelenos who haven’t eaten from some sort of Los Angeles food truck or cart out of fear of uncleanliness, a new study of the ever-popular mobile eateries may change that notion.

    "Despite this country’s deeply rooted history with street food and America’s growing love for food trucks, some people have claimed that food trucks and food carts are unsanitary and nothing more than 'roach coaches,'" according to the study's introduction.

    The study, conducted by civil liberties law firm Institute of Justice, tracked data from more than 45,600 food inspections between 2009 and July 2012 to see if that claim was true.

    The results: Food trucks and carts had fewer violations than brick-and-mortar restaurants.

    Local codes are the same for trucks, carts and traditional restaurants. Enforced by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the codes focus on cleanliness, food sourcing and storage, food temperatures and employee health, according to the study.

    Violations occurred 120 percent more often at restaurants than food trucks, and 237 percent more at restaurants than food carts. The study noted that violations were largely uncommon across all food service in LA.

    Los Angeles wasn’t alone in its findings. All seven major cities examined in the study -- including Boston, Las Vegas, Louisville, Miami, Seattle and Washington, D.C. -- were deemed every bit as clean and safe as sit-down restaurants.