New rules approved in Pima County, AZ will require food trucks to do some heavy lifting. Not only will they be required to permanently affix a GPS system to keep an eye on them, but they will be forced to add an interior wall that separates the cab of their truck and their kitchen. While we are always for food safety, this requirement should not force existing trucks to make this change.

Most trucks are designed with this wall, but for those that don’t this will be expensive and some trucks may even have to remove equipment to get the walls in place. If they do enforce this rule, existing trucks should be grandfathered from having to add this wall.

PIMA COUNTY, AZ – The code revisions also address the proliferation of food trucks and other itinerant and temporary food service establishments.

The food-truck regulations include requirements that a door or wall separate food preparation areas from a truck’s cab, that operators conduct food preparation work at an approved commissary and that GPS devices be permanently affixed to food trucks.

In a uniquely Tucson regulation, the new code requires that bacon-wrapped hot dogs, the quintessential ingredient of a Sonoran dog, be wrapped with bacon at the commissary facility.

The rule is geared toward food carts with limited production capacity, said David Ludwig, program manager with the Health Department’s food safety division.

“The commissary has to be a place where they can prepare food and dump waste,” Ludwig said, adding the department wants to be able to track whether food trucks are following regulations.

He also said the GPS requirement for food trucks will not be enforced immediately. Rather, it will be phased in as technologies adapt.

Deputy Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher said the new regulations are aimed at increasing public safety, not at making things difficult for the industry.

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