Stricter Health Department Regulations for Food Trucks

New York City Sets the Scene for Changes to the Food Truck Business

Are you thinking about starting your food truck business in New York City? If you are then this is definitely something you’re going to want to read and if you’re not … well you’ll want to hear what we have to say as well as this sets the scene for what may start to happen in every corner of the country. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is beginning to more closely regulate food truck businesses throughout the state of New York. This department is responsible for inspecting every food truck that ever hits the streets in this state before it is allowed to serve food to the public. This is important for the safety of everyone in the city and it’s something you can no doubt understand and appreciate.

Stricter Health Department Regulations for Food Trucks


Hot Dog Cart Business in the Big Apple

What Does this Mean for Your Food Truck?

What does an increase in regulations mean to you however? As a resident food truck business in New York City it means you need to follow specific rules on equipment and sanitary practices. It also means you have specific methods of storing your carts overnight. Unfortunately it also means a cap on the number of food trucks that are allowed to be parked on any street, and with a waiting list that is a mile long. No matter what type of food you sell or where you want to sell it you could be stuck on this waiting list for a very long time.

Unfortunately it also means a cap on the number of food trucks that are allowed to be parked on any street, and with a waiting list that is a mile long.

Over the last year there have been over 3,000 inspections within Queens alone with over 2,000 resulting in issuance of violations. Of those a total of over 300 carts were closed down and almost 40 were seized entirely. All of this means that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is really cracking down on keeping the general public safe from food-borne illnesses. But what if you aren’t a food truck business in NYC?

No matter where you live or where you want to set up shop you need to start by paying attention to the rules and regulations of your neighborhood. Take the time to look up anything that could affect your business and then take the time to walk through the area you want to set up. How many food truck vendors are already there? What kinds of food are they selling? What kind of business are they getting? All of these things added to your knowledge of the regulations of your area will help you to determine what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it.  The answers to these questions are all critical inclusions in your food truck business plan.

Are regulations going to affect your business? Absolutely they will. And whatever the rules are right now – be aware that they may change and you will have to keep abreast of those changes.   You’re going to need to make sure that you’re following all of the newest regulations as soon as they are passed. You’re also going to need to make sure that you’re keeping up to date on all of those regulations so that you do follow them at all times. Prempt changes, even, as your business and your livelihood is at stake. If you don’t then you could end up with citations from your local Department of Health. Expensive fines or being shut down are definitely not things that you’re going to want at any point during your food truck career.

Does This Mean the End To Your Food Truck Business?

Is this a threat? No it’s not. If you’re planning to run your food truck business as a career then you know that you need to keep it healthy for your potential customers. That means you need to serve them quality food from a vehicle that meets Health Dept Regulations. You definitely don’t want to be breaking food regulations even if you could get away with it because then people wouldn’t want to come back to your truck and you’d be out of business before you even really got started at all. So the fact that new regulations are coming out is not a threat to you. It means you will likely have to spend a little more money but you won’t have to worry about it stopping you from getting started in the first place.

Selling Cupcakes is a Food Truck Business

Cupcake Trucks have become a very popular type of Food Truck Business

If you ensure that you’re reading up on the rules around your area then you will be able to fit all the regulations from the start which means there will be no reason for the health department to deny your petition for a permit. You’ll be ready to get started out on the streets right away and the fact that you’re serving safe food to your customers means that they’ll want to keep coming back on their lunch breaks again and again.

If you have your heart set on operating your food truck business in the New York City area and the waiting lists prevent you, you’ll realize that another location will be your best bet while you sit out your turn on the waiting list.  There is competition and opportunity in any market and you may be surprised to find that an alternative, possibly overlooked area where there are none or few mobile food trucks, may prove more profitable for you. Where might the untapped opportunities exist for you, that others have failed to see?  Take any knock-back as a challenge and look for the opportunity door that opens as one door closes.

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