Whether you’re slingin’ salami on rye or tossin’ tacos with extra guac, a bad health inspection could mean the end to your snack-mobile!
The food truck industry is growing; it’s now over a 2 billion dollar industry. You’ll want to make sure you pass your health inspections so you can grab a piece of that [pizza] pie.
We’ve compiled a few tips to help you make the grade and keep your food truck grillin’ and rollin’. Feast your eyes on the facts below.
Food Truck Health Inspection Basics
Just like regular, non-van-based restaurants, food trucks are subject to health inspections. The goal of the health inspector is not to be a jerk and come down on you for trying to make a buck with your chuck, but to keep the public safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 48 Million people get some form of foodborne illness every year. 3,000 people die each year from foodborne illnesses, so it’s safe to say that the health inspector has a very important job.
There are 3 different types of health inspections that you may encounter:
- Routine Inspection: Expect to be inspected on a yearly basis. It can happen at any time and often comes without warning.
- Complaint Inspection: If a customer gets sick, they may file a complaint. The health department will perform an inspection to verify whether the complaint was valid.
- Follow-Up Inspection: The inspector’s goal isn’t to shut you down, but to keep people safe. If you do end up with any violations from the other 2 types of inspections, the inspector will often give you a chance to fix things and perform another inspection at a later date to make sure you made the proper changes.
So how do you make sure you are ready to pass those inspections? Follow these tips!
1. Perform Self-Inspections
Don’t wait for the surprise inspection to find out if you are up to code! Do your own inspections. If you have employees, make it a surprise just like the real thing. You want to get an accurate picture of what’s happening in your kitchen-on-wheels so that you can make sure to fix problems before they get any worse.
2. Keep an Eye on the Food, Dude!
The biggest thing that the health inspector is going to be looking at is how you are taking care of your food. They’ll be checking temperatures on cold, stored food as well as hot food to make sure they are within safe ranges. You’ll want to make sure you have adequate refrigeration to accomplish this.
Inspectors will also be checking that cooked and raw food are stored separately. Cross contamination between raw and cooked food is a major issue and will hurt your score if they find it.
You must also make sure that you are dating stored food properly to avoid things going bad or serving food past its prime.
3. Grub-Slingers, Be Good!
The inspection will also observe the behavior of your employees. They will be checking that employees are properly washing their hands. They will make sure that cooks are using food thermometers to assure food being sent out is safe for consumption.
Health inspectors will also make sure employees are clean, well-groomed, and wearing everything they are supposed to wear.
Pass That Inspection, Then Pass Me the Hot Sauce!
Passing your food truck inspection is crucial to succeeding in your culinary venture. Stay prepared and run a tight ship so that you can bring home the bacon.
Interested in getting into the food truck industry? Follow this link to request a custom quote.
For more food truck advice and inspiration, check out the rest of our blog here.