LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The L.A. County Health Department says as many as 40 percent of food trucks and carts have not been inspected since they received their initial permits.
L.A. County Director of Environmental Health Angelo Bellomo told CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo the food truck business is booming and health inspectors are having a hard time tracking the estimated 3,200 restaurants on the road.
“The dilemma is we can’t always know where the mobile food facilities are located,” he explained.
“The number of mobile food carts and trucks and street vendors has increased exponentially,” Bellomo told KNX1070’s Margaret Carrero.
“If we go out with a list, of say 10, we’re attempting to locate, we may only find two or three of them. With a number of un-permitted vendors that are out there we are often distracted chasing down the un-permitted vendors,” he added.
Bellomo said food trucks should be inspected twice a year, and acknowledges that is not happening. But he insists that will change in July when the department launches a new database.
“We’ve been working with the industry to find a better way to either have them log in their route information online that’s accessible to us, or to have them automatically report their route information via social media or using GPS,” he told Fajardo.
Bellomo added that health inspectors are finding mobile eateries with permits are as safe as traditional restaurants, and he’s unaware of any cases of a kitchen-on-wheels causing an outbreak.