Los Angeles County is, according to the N.Y. Times, moving to submit its flock of 9,500 food trucks and carts to the same health department rules as restaurants — including requiring them to prominently post a letter grade based on food inspections — in what may be the ultimate sign that this faddiest of food fads is going mainstream.
And if that is not establishment enough, food trucks, whose allure has been enhanced by their mysterious comings and goings, some signaled by puffs of Twitter postings, will have to file route maps with the health department, to facilitate at least one field inspection a year, beyond the single annual inspection now required.
As with restaurants, health inspectors will be empowered to shut down a truck that scores less than a C for not enough attention to basic safety and food hygiene practices — for example, dirty counters, food left out, unwashed hands.
Jonathan E. Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said
“People are saying, ‘I see A, B, C’s at restaurants, but not trucks: Why not? … We changed the incentives, and that’s what this is all about,” he said. “We want protecting consumers against foodborne illness to be top-of-mind all the time.”