While a food truck may be small, it is just as mighty as a brick-and-mortar restaurant when it comes to health inspections. Some people think mobile food businesses are unsanitary, so keeping up with local health codes is vital. Keep reading to get familiar with the best way to prepare for health inspections.

While a food truck may be small, it is just as mighty as a brick-and-mortar restaurant when it comes to health inspections. Some people think mobile food businesses are unsanitary, so keeping up with local health codes is vital. Keep reading to get familiar with the best way to prepare for health inspections.

 

Know Local Health Codes Backwards and Forwards

As with any small business venture, you’ll need to do a lot of research to stay on top of current regulations. With health departments spanning county-wide, you’ll need to know each county’s health codes where your food truck will be operating.

Train your employees regularly and keep them up-to-date on health codes. They may be quizzed by an inspector, so they need to know as much about the food preparation, storage, and safety as you do. Here are some example questions you or your employees may be asked:

  • Do you prepare any food in advance of service? How are these foods cooked, cooled, and reheated?
  • Do you have temperature records? Who records them? Where are the thermometers? How do you calibrate them?
  • What is your hand-washing and glove-use policy?
  • Who does your pest control?
  • What is your process to train new employees? Are your managers certified in food safety?
  • Do you have a written policy for an employee reporting illness or injury?

Speaking of employee illness, make sure you send them home if they show signs of being sick. Keep records of sick days and symptoms you see – if a customer gets sick and traces the illness back to your food truck, you should be able to produce these records to the inspector. You don’t want your business to be shut down until everyone is healthy and the area is completely sanitized.

Constantly Prepare For Inspections

Because your yearly health inspections could happen unannounced – especially if they received a complaint and come in for a surprise visit – you need to always be prepared.

Ask the county’s health department for a checklist so you know exactly what an inspector will be looking for when they visit. Then take that knowledge and self-inspect your truck on a regular basis. Surprise your employees with random inspections of your own for hand washing, cleanliness, food labeling, and everything else on that list. You know your vehicle better than anyone else, so make sure that the health inspector doesn’t find something that you missed.

Keep food purchase records, permits, temperature and storage processes, and any other paperwork that you may be asked for in your food truck. The more you are prepared for an inspection, the faster it will go, and the more likely it is your business will pass with flying colors.

Use a Top-Notch Food Truck

Equipment gets old and breaks down, that’s nothing new. When it comes to keeping your mobile food business sanitary and in proper working order, make sure to replace parts and equipment that are no longer up to standard.

If you’re buying your first food truck or need to upgrade to a new vehicle because your old one doesn’t meet health regulations, consider getting a food truck loan with Opportunity Fund.

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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