FoodTruckInspections (2023)

Food Truck Inspections


In this context, “food truck” is a generic term that includes any vehicle or trailer mounted on wheels from which prepared food is sold.

Food trucks are licensed/permitted by the city or county where the truck operates, with each jurisdiction having its own requirements and process for permitting. Parts of the inspection process are often performed by allied agencies, and some jurisdictions require propane system inspection and approval by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Standards Division prior to issuing the license/permit.

NCDA&CS LP-Gas Inspectors use the latest edition of NFPA 58: Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (aka LP-Gas Code) as the minimum standard, as referenced by state regulation. Changes in requirements necessitated by revisions to the LP-Gas Code go into effect on January 1 following the release of a new edition.


You may request an inspection of a food truck by contacting our office. See the contact information at the end of this page. The information we will need is:

  • Your name and address
  • Your telephone number
  • Your email address
  • County where the unit will be licensed/permitted
  • Operating name of the unit

In order to make our inspections efficient, please have your installation complete or nearly so by the time of the inspection. Your inspection will be scheduled as quickly as possible after your request is received and processed. Your inspector will contact you and schedule an inspection at his first reasonable opportunity, normally within two weeks.

(Video) Food Truck Inspections For Beginners [ The ONLY 3 Inspections you will EVER GET ]

INSPECTION DETAILS - Food Truck Inspection Items printable list

Following are the items most commonly checked during a routine NCDA&CS inspection. These are not all of the items in the rules governing food truck design and operation. Other items found in NFPA 58 may be checked, as requested or observed by your inspector, according to the specific design of vehicle or equipment installed at the time of inspection. Also, there is language in in Annex B of NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, that some jurisdictions may use for inspecting food trucks. Some of the items in NFPA 96 apply to the propane system. A jurisdiction may adopt this annex to use for inspecting food trucks for fire safety.

Listed are the items on our inspection form, the code reference section (in parentheses), a brief statement of the code requirement, and explanation or comments in parentheses. The numbers in parentheses after the item name refer to the section number in the 2017 edition of the LP-Gas Code. Refer to a drawing of a food truck for a key to the inspection items.

1 - Number of tanks: ( - LP gas containers in this application shall not exceed 200 gallon individual or aggregate capacity. (Several propane cylinder sizes can be used in this application, depending on the load demand and available space for installation. Specific requirements may apply as to their location on the unit. ASME tanks may be used instead of or with cylinders.)

2 - Paint condition: ( - Aboveground containers shall be painted or constructed of corrosion-resistant material, such a aluminum. (Containers must be free of any corroded areas or physical damage. The color of the container is not a requirement but it is suggested that it be a light reflective color.)

3 - Requalification date: ( & - Cylinders must be within a current qualification date. (Cylinders shall be requalified within 12 years of the date of manufacture and within 5 years thereafter, in accordance with sections through to remain in service. "Cylinders" refers to containers built to USDOT specifications. Other containers on food trucks may be ASME tanks, built to an ASME code. Cylinders are generally removable and ASME tanks are generally "permanently-mounted," requiring tools to remove them.)

4 - Tank location on vehicle: (,, 11.8.5 & 11.9) - Containers must be mounted securely to the exterior of the vehicle in an approved area. They cannot be on the front or the side of the unit. (Cylinders must not be inside of the vehicle for any reason, except that they may be installed in an appropriately-designed compartment within the exterior shell of the vehicle.. Placing cylinders on the inside of the vehicle for use or for transport is prohibited. ASME tanks specifically designed to be installed underneath the unit must meet certain location and clearance criteria.)

(Video) Food Truck Safety: Standards and Guidelines Needed to Pass Inspection

5 - Leak free: (6.16.1 & - Piping systems shall be tested for leaks at not less than the normal operating pressure. (This is done by spraying the joints with an approved liquid leak detecting solution. Piping must be tested to assure a gas-tight system. There must be no leaks.)

6 - Proper piping and connections: ( - Piping materials used must be approved for LP-Gas service. Piping must be underneath the floor in a protected location, fastened and protected from vibration, abrasion, and damage. (Gas piping shall be installed to enter the vehicle through the floor directly beneath or adjacent to the appliance served. The piping must be open and visible underneath the vehicle and cannot be covered in a false floor or between floors. A protective sleeve or grommet must be installed at every location where the gas line enters the vehicle to prevent wear or damage from vibration. Gas piping cannot be installed in a wheel well.)

7 - Tank security and protection from impact: ( through I)) - Containers must be securely mounted to prevent jarring loose, slipping, or rotating. The fasteners or brackets shall be designed and constructed to withstand static loading in any direction equal to four times the weight of the container filled with fuel. Approved containers mounted underneath the vehicle must meet the required design pressures and mounting clearances specified in section 11.8.3. (All containers must be protected from damage from loose objects and from damage due to overturns or similar vehicle accidents. A bumper protecting containers mounted on the rear shall extend at least six inches beyond the container and be of substantial fabrication matching or exceeding the strength of the existing bumper for protection of the container in the event of a rear end collision.)

8 - Tank valves and shutoffs accessible: ( (3)) - All container valves shall be protected and accessible. (Cylinders must have a protective collar. ASME tanks must have protection for valves.)

9 - Relief valve position: (,, & – Relief valves shall communicate with the vapor space of the container. Relief valves shall be positioned to minimize the possibility of relief valve discharge impingement on the container. Rain caps shall be installed on relief valves to minimize the entrance of water and debris from entering the valve and affecting proper operation. (The relief valves on containers must be covered to prevent foreign materials from entering. Relief valves must be pointed in a direction as to not cause impingement on the container or adjacent containers in the event of activation. Containers must be installed and operated in the position it is designed for, whether horizontal or vertical, to insure the proper position and operation of its relief valve.)

10 - Path of egress not blocked in event of an emergency: ( - Appliances shall be located so that a fire at any appliance will not block egress of persons from the vehicle. (When installing appliances it should be taken into account how persons would exit the unit should there be a fire at each particular appliance.)

11 - Safety sticker or plate installed: ( - A permanent caution plate shall be affixed to either the appliance or the vehicle outside of any enclosure, shall be adjacent to the container (s), and shall include the following instructions:

(Video) How to Pass Your Food Truck Inspection


  • Be sure all appliance valves are closed before opening container valve.
  • Connections at the appliances, regulators, and containers shall be checked periodically for leaks with soapy water or its equivalent.
  • Never use a match or flame to check for leaks.
  • Container valves shall be closed when equipment is not in use.

*NOTE: Often new appliances will come with a sticker affixed to it that includes this information.

12 – All unattended appliances are equipped with pilot shutoff devices: (,, & 5.23.7(A)) - Gas-fired heating appliances, deep fat fryers, and water heaters shall be equipped with automatic devices designed to shut off the flow of gas to the main burner and the pilot in the event the pilot flame is extinguished. (All heating appliances that can operate automatically when unattended must have valves that stop the flow of gas in case of an interruption. Most cook tops and some other appliances are classified as cooking appliances which are attended during operation and do not require automatic safety shutoff type pilot lights).

13 - Regulators: ( - Regulators shall be installed in accordance with sections 6.10.2 and through (A single stage regulator setup is not permitted in this type of installation. Reference states that the requirement for two-stage regulation shall includes fixed piping systems for appliances on catering vehicles and food service vehicle installations. This requires either a first stage regulator at the container and a second stage regulator at the beginning of the piping or an integral two stage regulator. Regulators must be properly sized to accommodate the total number of BTUs for all of the appliances in the unit so that they will properly operate.

14 - Sources of ignition controlled: Sources of ignition should be considered when locating propane containers, with as much separation as possible provided. Sources of ignition would include appliances, generators, etc., mounted or operating near the container. Where sources of ignition are present in close proximity to propane containers, a partial enclosure or metal partition must be installed to act as a shield to prevent heat exposure to the container(s).

FoodTruckInspections (1)

* Install a cut off valve inside the unit for each appliance within 6 ft. of the appliance. This will give you the option to isolate or remove an appliance from service without interfering with the rest of the system. Never leave any line open without a plug or cap installed.

(Video) Inside Inspections: The Food Cart Industry

* Securely fasten piping outside and underneath at frequent intervals (every 2-3 ft.) to prevent movement, vibration, and wear on the piping.

* When installing piping underneath the vehicle, consider placement, protection, road clearances, debris, and the movement of the vehicle as it pertains to wheel wells, turns and twists, springs and suspension, and axles. Tanks or piping shall not be located in a location that could possibly drag on the road surface in a low clearance or steep drive type situation.

The National Fire Protection Association has information about food truck safety, including a food truck fact sheet.


Contact Richard Fredenburg at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Standards Division, at 919-707-3231.

E-mail requesting an inspection may be sent to

Last updated March 9, 2018

(Video) (Florida) Food Truck Inspection


What permits are needed for a food truck in Washington state? ›

In order to be compliant with local laws, food trucks in Washington will need to get many of the same permits as restaurants, including a business license, food handlers permits for every employee, and a seller's permit.

How much is a food truck permit in Seattle? ›

Permits and licenses: Obtaining permits and licenses costs $6,211 in Seattle and involves 29 procedures (more than all but three other cities) and 20 trips to government agencies or other stops (like a notary public or food safety training institution).

Who inspects food trucks in Michigan? ›

If so, these types of facilities are regulated directly by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

What are the requirements for a food truck in Michigan? ›

A Mobile Food Service license (see Food Service License for details) is required. This license applies to mobile vendors, hot dog stands, ice cream vendors, push carts, etc. A sales tax license is required. You may call the Michigan Department of Treasury at 517-636-4660 and request a 518 sales tax form.

How many items should your food truck have? ›

A good rule of thumb is that most food trucks can handle five to 12 different menu items at any given time. The fewer the better to keep your quality top notch. Second, you want to make sure your menu is easy to prepare.

How much do food truck owners make a year? ›

As they can easily earn ₹35,000-40,000 per day. So, in an average month, a food truck can easily earn between ₹2-3 lakhs, and if you include events and college festivals, the revenue can be increased by another ₹2-3 lakhs.

Do food trucks pay for locations? ›

Other than normal operation fees, food trucks will need to pay “rent” for their spot at events. These fees range in price and depend on the area, event, number of other trucks at the event, and many other variables. At events, you can expect to see costs to claim your spot range from $75+.

How much investment is needed for a food truck? ›

In general, it costs between $28,000 and $114,000 to get a food truck business up and running, with the average food truck earning around $300,000 per year. Starting your own business is incredibly rewarding, especially if it's a success.

Who is responsible for inspection of food business? ›

(1) The Food Safety Officer shall be responsible for inspection of food business, drawing samples and sending them to Food Analyst for analysis.

Is ServSafe required in Michigan? ›

Attending a training course is recommend but not required. The only requirement is to pass a food safety certification exam from an approved provider such ServSafe.

What do I need to sell food in Michigan? ›

A food establishment license is required in almost all instances where food is commercially handled or served to the general public. Even the giving of food to the general public is included.

Can a food truck sell alcohol in Michigan? ›

5. A Catering Permit holder may sell beer, wine, or spirits to a person who has obtained a special license if that catering permit holder serves the beer, wine, or spirits and complies with all catering permit rules promulgated by the commission.

How much is a STFU license in Michigan? ›

D.1 Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU)- License Fee $159

"Special Transitory Food Unit" means a temporary food establishment that is licensed to operate throughout the state without the 14-day limits, or a mobile food establishment that is not required to return to a commissary.

Can I sell food from my home in Michigan? ›

Under the Cottage Food Law, non-potentially hazardous foods that do not require time and/or temperature control for safety can be produced in a home kitchen (the kitchen of the person's primary domestic residence) for direct sale to customers at farmers markets, farm markets, roadside stands or other direct markets.

What are 3 disadvantages of a food truck business? ›

Cons of Opening a Food Truck Business
  • Work Space Is Limited. Most food trucks aren't spacious enough, and this space is only reduced when you step into it and add all of the equipment you're going to need. ...
  • Work By Local Zoning Regulations. ...
  • Get Ready For Truck Repairs. ...
  • Competition Is Something You Should Consider.
Oct 11, 2021

What is the most profitable type of food truck? ›

Most Profitable Item #1: Barbecue

The most profitable food truck dishes strike the perfect balance between cost, labor, and sales. Nothing embodies that balance more than barbecue. Not only is it easy to toss some choice meats and veggies on the fire, but it's also quick and cheaper than other options.

How many staff does a food truck need? ›

Most food trucks need a team of 3 – 5 employees to operate successfully during a lunch rush. Make sure these key employees are loyal, engaged, and well trained because the whole business will depend on their productivity.

What sells well in a food truck? ›

Top 20 Food Truck Menus
  • Barbecue.
  • Amped-up Hamburgers.
  • Reinvented Hot dogs.
  • Coffee Trucks.
  • Smoothie / Healthy Drink Trucks.
  • “Grown-up” grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Beef Sliders (Variation on hamburgers.)
  • Cupcakes and desserts.
Nov 27, 2019

What is a typical day for a food truck? ›

Even with support, owners can put in 40-hour workweeks for their food truck business when there is extra work. Most food truck employees spend 2 to 3 hours getting ready to serve. They begin serving early in the morning, around 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m., when lunch is served.

What is the standard tip for a food truck? › recommends a small tip of 50 cents to $2 for orders under $30; 5-10% for $30 to $60 orders (especially if packaging the order is difficult) and/or if the person helps take your order to your car. For large orders, which require more condiments, plates, etc., 8-10% is recommended.

Are food trucks a good investment? ›

Are Food Trucks a Good Investment? Based on industry data, a well-run food truck can pull in $23,000 to over $100,000 per year. That range is influenced by everything from location, marketing strategy, menu offerings, and more.

What is the success rate of food trucks? ›

The Average Success Rate for Food Trucks. Current statistics, taken from average restaurant figures, suggest 40 percent of food carts are still in business after three years. With an average revenue stream of $250,000-$500,000 a year, managing a successful mobile kitchen can be a lucrative endeavor!

Is it hard to make money with a food truck? ›

Most food trucks can expect to become profitable within the first year and a half to two years, depending on the food costs and your businesses' and region's KPIs. You'll have to work to ensure that your food truck becomes profitable before you spend through your contingency funds and financing.

Why are food trucks Cash only? ›

Why don't some food trucks accept credit cards? Many businesses in addition to food trucks are hesitant to accept card payments because of the added fees. Payment processors typically charge a certain percentage per transaction. For example, a business might pay 2.5% to the payment processor on any purchase.

What is the cheapest investment to start a food truck? ›

You can expect to spend anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000 on a new, made-to-order truck, according to Restaurant MBA, and they take months to build. Used trucks generally cost between $40,000 and $80,000, and you should be able to start using them almost immediately.

What are the most common issues faced by food truck businesses? ›

The Top 5 Challenges Food Truck Owners Face
  • Permits and Regulations.
  • Location, Location, Location.
  • Inventory and Menus.
  • Wearing Many Hats.
  • An Inefficient Kitchen.
Oct 28, 2019

What will be the cost of food truck? ›

An average food truck can cost anywhere between INR 8-10 lakhs in India. On the upper end of the spectrum, a fully equipped food truck can even cost up to 20 lakhs.

What questions do food inspectors ask? ›

Along with a visual inspection of the workplace, an EHO will: ask staff about quality control systems, request to see recipes, FSMS, temperature and staff records. They will also ask management about staff training, controlling hazards, and temperature control.

What is food inspection process? ›

What is food INSPECTION SERVICES? Food inspection services include systematic monitoring of processes, products and systems along the entire value chain and identifying deviation or non-conforming products if any, at an early stage.

What are the types of food inspection? ›

Food Inspection Types
  • Routine Inspection:
  • Follow-up Inspection:
  • Reinspection:

Is ServSafe hard to pass? ›

The answer? Yes, it is challenging. But don't worry, most people pass. The ServSafe Manager exam tests your knowledge of several categories of food safety in a commercial foodservice environment.

What if I fail my ServSafe test? ›

Certification Process

You will need to purchase a new exam each time you need to retest. You can take the examination twice within 30 days. If you don't pass the exam on your second attempt, you must wait 60 days from your most recent attempt before taking the exam again.

How long is ServSafe good for in Michigan? ›

The course will expire one year from the date of purchase. Upon purchase, a Exam Access Code will be provided in an emailed receipt for each course purchased. After completing the course, choose the Michigan Alcohol Exam, then choose either English or Spanish, and enter the Exam Access Code to begin the exam.

Do you need a commissary for a food truck in Michigan? ›

The Michigan Food Law of 2000, as amended defines a mobile food establishment as a food establishment operating from a vehicle or watercraft that returns to a licensed commissary for servicing and maintenance at least once every 24 hours.

How do I get a food handlers permit in Michigan? ›

Getting your food handler card in Michigan is simple. You just need to take a short course, pass the multiple-choice exam, and you can print your certificate of completion immediately as proof of training. That's it! Find out if there are additional steps you need to take by checking with your local health authority.

Do I need a license to sell homemade food? ›

It is perfectly legal to sell food from home providing you have taken all the necessary steps such as registering with environmental health and HMRC. Selling food from home without taking out the necessary training or paperwork will result in a heavy fine.

Can truck drivers drink alcohol? ›

Drivers are forbidden to use alcohol, be under the influence of alcohol, or have any measured alcohol concentration, while on duty, or operating, or in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle. Alcohol can only be transported as part of a shipment.

Are mobile bars legal in Michigan? ›

No. Unfortunately, the State of Michigan does not allow mobile bars to hold a liquor license. We provide the space, and our hosts provide the alcohol or arrange for a bartending/catering service to purchase the alcohol.

Do you need a license to cater food in Michigan? ›

Do I need a Food License? If you are serving food or drink to the public, you need a license. Per the Michigan Food Law, Act 92 of 2000, as amended, the following establishments are exempt from Food Service licensure in Michigan: A hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast that serves continental breakfasts only.

Who inspects food trucks in michigan? ›

If so, these types of facilities are regulated directly by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

How much is a vendor's license in michigan? ›

Michigan has only one type of sales tax permit, a Sales and Use License. Currently, there is no charge for a Michigan sales permit.

What is an SDD license in michigan? ›

A Specially Designated Distributor license, as defined by MCL 436.1111(14), is a business licensed to sell at retail spirits in the original package for consumption off the premises. Specially Designated Distributor licenses generally are held in conjunction with Specially Designated Merchant licenses.

What do you need for a food truck in Michigan? ›

In order to be compliant with local laws, food trucks in Michigan will need to get many of the same permits as restaurants, including a business license, food handlers permits for every employee, and a seller's permit.

Can I cook meals to sell from home? ›

California allows home cooks to prepare and sell meals out of their home. California allows cottage food producers to sell foods that do not require temperature control for safety from a list approved by the Department of Public Health.

What permits do I need to sell food in Washington state? ›

Getting started in Washington

Washington cottage food producers must take a food safety course, get a business license, submit detailed business plans and recipes, and pass a home inspection. The process to get a Washington Cottage Food Operation permit costs $230 annually and takes up to two months to complete.

What is the fine for selling food without a permit in Washington state? ›

Please note, the fine for selling food without a permit in Washington state is up to $1000 per day per offense.

How much does a food permit cost in Washington state? ›

How Much Will this Permit Cost? The permit fee is $230.

Can food trucks serve alcohol in Washington state? ›

You must first have your “catering” health permit (this is in addition to your food truck health permit). Then you need to add-on a liquor addendum to your state business license. You cannot sell alcohol from your mobile to the general public without being hired to cater and sell by a non-profit for a special event.

What certificate is needed to sell food? ›

A food hygiene certificate is a certificate awarded to those who successfully complete an accredited course on food hygiene and safety. Food businesses are legally required to ensure all food handlers receive an appropriate level of training and supervision in food hygiene and safety.

Can you sell food made at home in Washington state? ›

What is a Cottage Food Permit? A Cottage Food Permit allows a resident of Washington State to make food that is not potentially hazardous such as baked goods, candies, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butters, dry spice blends, or dry tea blends in their primary residential kitchen.

Is selling out of code food illegal? ›

It is an offence to sell foods that are not properly labelled, or are labelled in a way that confuses consumers.

What is an Offence to sell food? ›

The Food Safety Act 1990 and regulations made under it make it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health. They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way.

Do food trucks actually make money? ›

Based on industry data, a well-run food truck can pull in $23,000 to over $100,000 per year. That range is influenced by everything from location, marketing strategy, menu offerings, and more.

What is the average daily sales for a food truck? ›

How much money an average food truck can make depends on the price of the menu, the market, and how busy the truck gets. One source says that food trucks can make an average revenue of $250,000 to $500,000 annually. *** That breaks down to $20,000 to $42,000 per month, or $667 to $1,400 per day.


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