Despite the fact they are not ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, health and safety regulations for Toronto’s food trucks are on-par with their permanent site counterparts.
In the City of Toronto, food trucks must:
- Have a hand-washing basin
- Hot and cold running water
- A two-compartment sink for utensil sanitation
- Mechanical refrigeration
- Adequate ventilation
Just like permanent-site restaurants, food trucks must also pass Toronto Public Health’s eight Dinesafe regulations:
- Food temperature regulations must be followed
- Food must be protected from contamination
- Employees must practice proper hygiene and handwashing
- Food contact surfaces and equipment must be well-maintained and sanitized
- Non-food contact surfaces and equipment must be well-maintained and sanitized
- Washrooms must be adequately maintained and supplied
- Waste must be stored and removed properly
- Appropriate pest control procedures must be used
Also like permanent-site restaurants, the safety inspections of food trucks are based on a low, moderate, and high-risk scale. Low-risk sites are inspected once per year, moderate two times per year, and high three times per year.
If there is a failure to meet a standard, the infraction would be deemed either a minor, significant, or crucial infraction.
Minor infractions present a minimal health-risk and must be corrected by the next inspection.
Significant infractions present a potential health hazard, and are to be corrected within 48 hours.
Crucial infractions present an immediate health hazard, and must be corrected immediately to avoid an order to close down.
Despite the fact many of Toronto’s food trucks are not available on Dinesafe’s database.The 387 people surveyed by the Toronto Street Vendors Association in 2011 did not express large concern about food safety.
When asked about the improvements that could be made in regards to Toronto’s street food only two people said “food safety,” six said “cleanliness”, and one said “health and safety standards met.”
The people were surveyed at a Tasty Thursday event.
Food trucks at the Canadian National Exhibition do get their Dinesafe results posted to the online database.
All trucks at the CNE received a pass, with any infractions being minor ones.
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Brad was born and raised on a farm in Elmvale, Ontario. He moved to Toronto in 2012. Brad loves municipal politics, cooking, a strong cup of coffee, and a good book. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been breaking his heart since 1991.