Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens.

Image Publication | Sat July 01, 2017, 07:00 AM EST

With the arrival of summer, food trucks and carts are hitting the streets. They provide a wide variety of tasty cuisune, but there are a few things to consider before getting one of those mobile meals. Here are a few questions to ask about any food cart or truck:

  • Is the vendor licensed? Licensed vendors meet basic requirements in food safety training and are subject to regular inspection. Unlicensed vendors operate illegally and might not be following all food safety laws.
  • Are the workers' hands clean and covered? Be sure the server is wearing gloves and not touching other things as well. Hands should also be well washed at all times, otherwise they could transport hamful pathogens.
  • Is their hair out of the way? Hair should always be tied back or covered by a hair net. Workers who touch their hair while working can also transmit bacteria onto the food.
  • Is the food the right temperature? Nothing should be lukewarm. Sandwiches and salads should be cold and burgers and soups should be hot.
  • Is there enough space for food preparation? Limited space for meat, poultry, and produce could lead to cross contamination. Check that there is enough room for all the food that they are handling.  
  • Is the truck clean? A clean truck does not guarantee safe food, but a dirty truck is always a bad sign. 
  • Any other questions? Ask the vendor! You can also look online for food truck safety regulations within your state.

For more information and considerations on food trucks, click here.

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Image Publication | Sat July 01, 2017, 07:00 AM EST

Media Contacts

Deirdre Schlunegger
Stanley Rutledge
Community Coordinator