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LA County OKs Health Safety Ratings For Food Trucks

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(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County supervisors have voted unanimously to require the posting of health board ratings on thousands of food trucks.

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Tuesday’s vote gives county health inspectors the authority to conduct surprise visits to the trucks twice a year and give them A, B or C ratings, the same as they do with brick-and-mortar restaurants. The grades must be posted prominently on the vehicles.

The ordinance will take effect in 30 days.

Food truckers have said they look forward to the new rules, believing they will give people more confidence in the cleanliness of their operations.

“I’m itching to get our grades on our trucks and quiet the skeptics that think we’re somehow unregulated,” Matt Geller, chief executive officer of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors
Association, has said.

Food trucks are already supposed to be inspected twice a year, once at the commissary where they are parked for cleaning and once in the field.

But they don’t receive letter grades, and county health inspectors have said it’s sometimes hard to locate them in the field. Under the new law, they’ll have to provide schedules.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding, head of the Los Angeles County Health Department, said the explosive popularity of the trucks led officials to push for the new regulations.

More than 4,000 food trucks, selling everything from spicy Korean-barbecue tacos to sweet crepes to vegetarian hot dogs, are licensed to operate in the county. They will be subject to the
inspections, as will thousands of pushcarts and other smaller chow wagons.

Fielding has said the new regulation won’t result in an increase in fees for the trucks for at least the first year.


(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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