Well I must say my first impressions of dealing with the NC Health Department were way off the mark. I talked to the gentleman who is in charge of regulating Mobile Food and he was very friendly and helpful.
He asked me what I was planning on selling and went over the requirements. It’s all pretty much the same as a brick and mortar place but his biggest concern seemed to be the water supply. They have several different volume requirements depending on what type of truck you are doing. The lowest for a truck dong packages products, then more progressively for a hot dog truck, full serve and finally more if you are be a dipping (that’s what they call the thing with the slow stream of water the you dip ice cream scoops into, live and learn). I’d have to have 70 gallons of potable water and a waste water storage container that is 15% bigger. No big deal.
IN NYC you have to have your truck garaged and work out of a commissary, restaurant of some type of licensed foodservice establishment. NOT IN NASSAU COUNTY ! The only requirements are that I have to tell then where I am parking the truck, have a waste water disposal point and buy my food from a licensed purveyor. The beauty is that purveyor can be BJ’s, Costco or my local favorite Restaurant Depot. Just to keep everything running right I’m going to have to rent space in a licensed facility of some sort to do prep and storage but that shouldn’t be an issue.
Good news all around.
I’m excited because tonight I’m going into NYC for “Street Food Vending 101”, a seminar being given by the “Street Vendor Project”, the organization that represents about 1000 of NYC’s street vendors. I have no immediate plans to work in the big city but I’m sure the information will be enlightening. I also plan to buy tickets to the Vendy’s- “Called “the Oscars of food for the real New York” by Chef Mario Batali, the Vendy Awards are New York City’s annual competition for the title of Best Street Food Vendor” http://streetvendor.org/vendys/ which are beheld on September 25th on Governors Island, and incredibly cool venue that is a short ferry ride from lower Manhattan.