LOS ANGELES, CA – Of the roughly 3,200 licensed food trucks and carts wheeling meals around Los Angeles County, about 40 percent have never been inspected by the Department of Public Health. The rest are checked less frequently than guidelines require, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
Those troubling figures come from Angelo Bellomo, the Department’s director of environmental health, who oversees restaurant and food truck inspections, who told the L.A. Times that, “this is an area that needs improvement.”
The Vehicle Inspection Program, which mandates letter grades for food trucks, was first introduced in 2011, and county health guidelines require two annual field inspections. However this hasn’t happened for a significant number of mobile eateries on the road and consumers still cannot review health inspection information for many of these trucks.
The 40 percent report does not include any unlicensed vendors that are currently doing business in the city.
“[The Health Department] estimates around 11,000 illegal vendors operate every day here in Los Angeles County,” said Matt Geller, Co-Founder & CEO, Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association on AirTalk. “So they have a huge task ahead of them. I’m sure that there are lapses at times, but 40 percent seems like a very high number to me.”
The term illegal vendors refers to any person selling food or beverages without a license, from the person selling sodas out of a cooler to a food truck roaming the streets without a license.
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