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blog - Festival Food Vendors

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Get Rolling! Food Truck Basics

posted 12/14/21 14:30:41   Category » Festival Food Vendors
Get Rolling!  Food Truck Basics

Whether you use a cart, trailer or vehicle, there are certain requirements that you must meet before you can light up those grills and flat tops!  The authorities must be convinced that your food business meets their standards.

In addition to a permit, there will be a full inspection of your food cart or truck before you receive authorization to serve the public your food!


Features

Food safety is obviously a major issue in public health, and the equipment you use must be appropriate and safe as well. Each state will have its own set of laws so be sure to research your area before buying anything!

For example, if you operate a pushcart in Dallas, your container can be no longer than 6 feet. Furthermore, the roof vents of your container should prevent dust and flies from entering.


Ensure that you cover doors, windows and any other opening in mesh to keep out flies and other insects. Also, make sure that you seal and repair all cracks and crevices and that your interior is of stainless steel.




Documents

There are lots of official documents to get in order to become a mobile food vendor such as a business license, a location license (not always) and your health-department permit. In some states, such as Texas, you also must possess a valid driver's license.



Be sure to keep your documents with you so that if there is a spot check, it will be obvious that you are certified. State authorities are strict on their prerequisites for food vending, and it is up to you to make sure that you are ready for any form of scrutiny or inspection.

 

Maintenance

 

Keep your unit in good condition; otherwise, you run the risk of having your licenses revoked. Do a daily inspection, making sure to clean the floors, appliances and surfaces with soap and disinfectant solution. You must keep all associated fixtures, fittings and equipment clean and in proper working order. There should be no form of fumes, smoke or foul odors. No waste water or garbage should go beyond a day, and they should be disposed of without threat to the environment.

 

State Regulations

 

State regulations vary from state to state. In New York City, for example, before you submit an application, you must first pass the health-department's Food Protection course; in Dallas, home-based operations are not allowed. Vendors must operate from a commissary, and the vehicle must report daily for food from the commissary. The same is true in Florida, and you can only prepare items that cook quickly on the unit.




So, make sure you check with your state's health or agriculture department, as a permit in one state does not necessarily satisfy the requirements in another.

 



photo: Should Wang


 
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