Food Trucks Could Undergo New Health Inspections

The mobile food operation inspections may be the same as restaurants.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to explore the possibility of subjecting San Diego’s exponentially popular food trucks to the same health inspection letter grades as restaurants.

“What we're concerned with -- it's not the mobile units that maybe sells packaged potato chips or candy bars and things of that sort -- it's the mobile food units in which they either prepare food or have to have refrigeration to make sure the food is maintained or that the hygienic conditions come into play," County Supervisor Ron Roberts said.

The county inspects approximately 1,100 of the region’s mobile food operations, 550 of which sell to the public. However, they are not required to display the results, according to Roberts.

“We're already inspecting these trucks, so I don't want anybody in the public to panic and think anything is unsafe," he said. "What will change is, you will know what that rating is. You will know when it was inspected."

Roberts also said his idea is supported by the San Diego County Restaurant Association and the owners of Trucked Up Productions, which operates the Chop Soo-ey and Ms. Patty Melt food trucks.

“The public has come to understand the letter grade,” he said Monday. “We want them to have the same assurance with the mobile food servers that they would with a fixed restaurant.”

If an ordinance is passed, the food trucks will receive decals instead of placards so the grades cannot be transferred among vehicles. County staff is expected to report back within four months on the ordinance’s practicality.

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