TWIN FALLS, ID – With more food truck vendors interested in setting up shop in Twin Falls, city officials are looking to change their laws to keep up with the growing business.
Last week, City Council members were asked to amend the ordinance that oversees mobile food concessions.
“Somewhere along the way, somehow, these mobile food trucks stopped moving and people came to them,” said Community Development Director Mitch Humble.
The city stopped issuing permits to food trucks that would remain parked in one area six months ago, Humble said. City staff are looking to City Council to update the code on how to issue a permit for a food truck that does not move.
Food truck culture has seen a boom in the past years across the country, which has forced cities to no longer consider the trucks as a fringe business. Los Angeles now requires the city’s 9,500 trucks to post letter grades given out by the health department. In Portland, food trucks must apply for a license, which requires prior approval from the city’s planning and zoning department, the fire marshall and the truck must comply with structural and electrical codes. In St. Louis, the city provides food truck owners with a map where they are or not allowed to park.
But in Twin Falls, the city’s mobile food permit was designed for more traditional vendors like ice cream trucks or catering trucks. However, food trucks are regulated for food safety the same way as restaurants under the Idaho Food Code.
They must have proper hand washing stations, proper sanitation and monitor temperatures of hot and cold food items.
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