The food truck movement continues to grow – adding to the food scene and offering a yummy selection to Sacramento County. While mobile food trucks and trailers are already inspected by the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department (EMD), they soon will have something else in common with brick-and-mortar restaurants. Starting this summer, mobile food trucks will display the same Green/Yellow/Red Placards after each routine health inspection that were implemented in 2007 at restaurants in Sacramento County.
The color-coded placard provides customers with a snapshot of how the facility did on their health inspection. A green placard means the facility passed its inspection, yellow is a conditional pass – meaning there is some work to do to get into compliance, and red is an immediate closure of the facility due to an imminent health threat. However, recognizing that mobile food trucks have limited space and shorter service times, EMD staff members met with food truck owners and were able to work through these challenges to ensure in-the-field inspections cause the least disruption while safeguarding food safety and public health.
The County conducts two inspections per year on each mobile food truck. One inspection is at the County office to inspect that the truck/trailer/cart is equipped for food safety, and the other is to inspect food safety practices in the field. The same criteria as restaurant is used to issue the color-coded placards and will be placed within two feet of the service window or service area.
By this fall, all food trucks in Sacramento County should have a color-coded placard on display and is intended to increase operator compliance and public awareness of food safety at businesses that sell food in Sacramento County. Operators can use their placard to “advertise” their compliance and should boost customer confidence, while providing a clear message to the public that food trucks are permitted and inspected.
Next time you dine out, be sure to look for the color-coded placard. If a truck operating in Sacramento County doesn’t have a permit sticker or a color-coded placard, they may not be operating legally or have not been inspected for compliance with the Health and Safety Code.
If you don’t see an inspection placard, ask the operator where it is and if you see questionable food safety practices and/or possible violations in Sacramento County, call Sacramento County 311 Connect (916-875-4311 or 311), or go online to report it at www.311.saccounty.net.