For patrons and those with appetites, food trucks can be like a refreshing river running through the middle of a desert. For entrepreneurs, food trucks can be the ticket to freedom, or at the very least, a means to a good income.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, patrons and food truck operators aren't the only eyes on food trucks. Food trucks, as you might imagine, are subject to many safety and food handling protocols, including more than a few overseeing authorities.
Anyone who operates or who is interested in operating a food truck, needs to be aware of the laws governing such food service operations. Namely the chief organization, the US Food & Drug Administration.
Local Food Truck Operations
Many people, and in particular, Ma and Pa operations, that run food trucks, only do so locally or within their state of residence. These people often winterize or put their food trucks in safe storage during the off-season.
Anyone who operates locally or only works within their state of residence will be required to get permits and licensing from that state. Each state also has its own set of regulations, safety protocols, and license procedures.
In most cases, these fees and licenses are reasonably priced and don't cause any financial burden on food truck operators. The major concern for any food truck operator, regardless of the type of operation, is ensuring a valid license and right to work in said state.
Traveling Food Trucks
There are also many types of food truck services that operate year-round. Many of these food trucks follow fair and festival circuits, moving farther south during colder months and then to the northern parts of the country during warmer seasons.
That also means trucks that sell or distribute food items in other states are also required to be licensed by that or those states. The good news is, for the majority of food truck businesses, that will only include a few states at most.
Types of Food Truck Services
We have all probably encountered a food truck or two in our day. These mobile food vendors are often a welcome sight, and can be found at construction sites, around fairs and carnivals, or even at retail store locations.
Food trucks that operate in a retail capacity, however, will also have additional requirements to meet. The Department of Public Health Division of Food, Milk & Lodging is the branch of the US Food & Drug Administration that typically handles food trucks operating in this capacity.
Who doesn't love a food truck? Good food, good business, and a good deal for everyone. And more than a few authorities making sure we all stay safe too.