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Health Grades for Food Trucks & Carts Gets Final Approval

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Photo by Alex de Cordoba via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by Alex de Cordoba via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
It's official. Food trucks in L.A. County will have to go through twice-yearly inspections and display the resulting health grade just like restaurants do, thanks to the approval of an ordinance today the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. The law will go into effect in 30 days, but don't expect "A's," "B's" and "C's" clinging to the windows of food trucks and carts right then. First, two things have to happen: one, each of the 88 cities must follow suit and adopt the ordinance to make it enforceable within their jurisdiction; and two, it's going to take awhile, maybe up to two years, to inspect and grade the approximately 3,200 food trucks and 2,800 food carts.

The ordinance also establishes an annual certification inspection for food equipment and will require owners to detail the whereabouts of their mobile eatery, including "the arrival, departure and exact location... where the retail food business is being conducted," according to the county's summary (.pdf) of the ordinance.

Many food truck operators find this welcoming news. "We want the grading system to work out," explained Matt Geller of the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association, which represents more than 90 trucks. As for informing the county of all their locations, even if spontaneous, Geller wasn't concerned. "They are not going to make it so stringent so it's impossible," he said, noting food truck operators have been working with health inspectors to make the ordinance workable.