FS1406:                 The Great Food Truck Race...for Food Safety

Speaker:              Robert Kramer, REHS/RS

 

The food truck phenomenon has gained national media attention with an estimated 20,000 plus trucks nationwide bringing in over $1.2 billion annually. Amid the frenzy is a host of unique challenges for food safety professionals. This session addresses many approaches to the operational obstacles associated with food trucks such as operating in a small space, reliance upon generators to keep food at correct temperatures, limited water supply, and their mobile nature.  Be prepared to take away tips and tricks to use in your work to prevent foodborne illness with food truck operators.

 

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The purpose of this Interactive Lecture is to discuss the unique challenges faced by food trucks and how we can work together to identify and overcome these obstacles. It is intended for individuals with oversight of mobile food vehicles, food safety professionals and regulatory officials involved in audits or inspections of mobile food vehicles to assist with increasing knowledge and successful development of a food safety program for the growing food truck industry.

The food truck phenomenon has gained national media attention and with an estimated 20,000 plus trucks nationwide and has rapidly grown to become the newest craze.  In a 2009 industry survey annual revenue from food trucks was around $1.2 billion and growth rates from 2007-2012 was approximately 8.4% annually. With the growth of food trucks comes a variety of food safety obstacles such as operating in a small space, reliance upon generators to keep food at correct temperatures, licensing concerns and limited water supply. Since the trucks are on the move another challenge is the opportunity for regulators to see the truck in service at an event.

According to the FDA over 2,000 different state and local agencies are responsible for inspecting food trucks, which results in food truck safety standards that vary widely across the country. The symposium will strive to provide insight into specific state regulations regarding food truck standards.

Per the CDC from 1998 to 2010 there were 53 foodborne outbreaks from food prepared at a fair, festival or other mobile food service, infecting 1,186 people.  In February 2011, an outbreak of 91 Salmonella Enteritidis infections in Canada was linked to consumption of food sold by food trucks. This symposium will provide a history of outbreaks associated with foods purchased from food trucks.

Food truck concepts widely vary from self sufficient trucks, trucks that must report back to a commissary, canteen style trucks where all serving or cooking of food is done from outside of the truck and trucks that only sell pre-packaged non-PHF. Finally this symposium would include information on food truck, commissary and mobile support unit requirements.