ball state university logoMUNCIE, IN – Food trucks, one of the newest trends to hit Muncie, won’t be on campus anytime soon.

“There is no place on campus where we would permit food trucks operated by outside vendors to park and serve food,” said Joan Todd, executive director of public relations, in an email. “It is very challenging to keep food trucks up to the food safety code requirements.”

Campus policy specifically aims to reduce the risk of liability by insuring that all food and beverages sold and provided on university property must be supplied by Ball State Dining or catering services, she said.

Puerta’s Mexican Food and Catering, Slop on Top and Carter’s Nearly World Famous Hotdogs are all available in the Village and monitored by the Delaware County Health Department.

Food trucks, or mobile food establishments, have to be well inspected as a result of their temporary nature, said Josh Williams, Delaware County Health Department administrator.

“Mobile food establishments have to go through a certain protocol,” he said. “We inspect them the first time that they operate, and then sporadically when they’re on public property.”

The health department visited Puerta’s new truck three times in the past three months. However, there is no set number of times the food trucks have to be inspected, and factors like complaints could cause them to be inspected more often.

“The mobile food establishments are inspected more often than retail because their setup is so temporary,” Williams said.

All food trucks are held to the same standards as retail food establishments, such as waste water disposal, type of sink and sanitation. Williams said food trucks, like other restaurants, are inspected and regulated on the county level.

Because of the confines of a mobile restaurant, an added requirement is that all the parts of a stationary restaurant have to become mobile, said Ricardo Garcia, assistant manager of Puerta’s food truck. The health department has to approve everything from water heaters to grills to refrigeration.

Even though Williams said these regulations are difficult to achieve, food trucks and carts are increasing in popularity. Since mobile food establishments have to register for events in Delaware County, he said they have seen a lot of food truck participation this season at large events like the county fair or RibFest.

Find the entire article by Lauren Chapman at The Daily News <here>