Guidelines for Mobile Food Vendors

    Authorized By Section 8-104.10 (B) of the Columbia Food Code

    Definitions:

    • A mobile vending establishment must utilize a self-contained vehicle.

    Permits:

    • All mobile vendors must have a current Columbia/Boone County Health Department Permit. This permit is renewable annually. Mobile vendors must obtain a temporary business license and comply with terms and conditions of the permit.

    General:

    • All food must be clean, free from spoilage, free from adulteration, and safe for human consumption.
    • All food must be from an approved source. All potentially hazardous food (meats, cheeses, diary products, fish, etc.) must be prepared on the site by a permitted operator or be prepared at another permitted facility. No foods prepared or stored in a private home or a non-permitted facility may be used or sold on a mobile food vehicle.

    Temperature Control of Food:

    • All potentially hazardous foods must be kept cold or hot, (41°F or below, 140°F or above) at all times. Pre- cooked foods must be reheated to 165°F before serving. Equipment must be provided for maintaining these temperatures at all times.
    • Required internal cooking temperatures for potentially hazardous foods are: chicken-165°F, pork-145°F, ground beef-155° and beef-140°F.
    • Partial cooking of potentially hazardous food is prohibited.
    • Metal stemmed thermometers accurate to within plus or minus 3°F must be provided to monitor these food temperatures.

    Ice and Refrigeration:

    • Mechanical refrigeration units must be clean and in good repair and must be capable of maintaining food temperatures of 41°F or below. Thermometers must be provided in all refrigeration units.
    • If ice is to be used for temperature control, the following criteria must be met:
      ? Ice must be from an approved source.
    • The ice-holding container must be constructed of non-porous materials, with an attached lid. Styrofoam coolers are not approved.
    • Ice used for cooling food or beverages may not be used for human consumption.
    • Ice containers must be drained to prevent accumulation of water.

    Sanitizing and Sink Requirements:

    • All mobile vendors preparing potentially hazardous foods must be equipped with an approved three-compartment sink with hot and cold running water. The sink must be of adequate size to submerge utensils and cookware halfway into the sink. Mobile vendors selling only pre-packaged foods require no sink.
    • Mobile vendors operating from a permitted depot may not be required to provide sanitizing facilities on the vehicle. The permit holder for the commissary must be the same as the permit holder for the mobile vending vehicle. The commissary must be permitted by the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services and meet all applicable Department standards.

    Handwashing:

    • An approved hand wash sink must be installed with hot and cold running water under pressure with the exception of the following:
    • The hand washing requirement for pushcarts with a limited menu and utensils, or mobile vendors with only pre-packaged potentially hazardous foods, can be met by use of moist towelettes containing alcohol.
    • No hand wash sink is required when only pre- packaged foods are sold.

    Foodhandling:

    • Bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food is prohibited.
    • Cross-contamination of cooked foods with raw foods must be prevented at all times during food handling.
    • The use of utensils such as tongs, forks and spatulas is required to minimize hand contact with food.
    • Single-service articles/utensils may not be re-used. All food products must be individually wrapped or covered to protect them from contamination.
    • Tobacco use is prohibited in any food preparation or service area.
    • Galvanized and chipped enamelware containers shall not be used for food storage or preparation.
    • All food must be properly stored off the floor or ground.

    Water Supply:

    • A readily available supply of hot and cold running water from an approved source must be provided at all times to the vehicle.
    • The water supply must be adequate to meet the needs of the establishment.
    • This water must be stored in an approved covered container.

    Refuse:

    • All food wastes, soiled paper, etc., must be stored in a leak proof, plastic or galvanized refuse container with a tight fitting lid.

    Construction of Equipment:

    • Fans and or screens may be required to control flies.
    • All food contact surfaces must be smooth, easily cleanable, non-absorbent, and non-toxic. They must be durable and kept in good repair.
    • All other equipment must be constructed and maintained in a manner consistent with department standards.
    • Overhead protection must be provided for all food preparation and food storage areas. Materials such as canvas, plastic or wood that protect the establishment from the weather will be approved. A site should be chosen which will minimize problems with dirt and dust.

    Wastewater:

    • Wastewater must be retained in a spill proof, leak proof container with a larger capacity than the water supply available on the vehicle. Wastewater must be disposed of into an approved sanitary sewer. Receipts verifying proper disposal may be required.

    Refuse:

    • All food wastes, soiled paper, etc., must be stored in a leak proof, plastic or galvanized refuse container with a tight fitting lid.

    Construction of Equipment:

    • Fans and or screens may be required to control flies.
    • All food contact surfaces must be smooth, easily cleanable, non-absorbent, and non-toxic. They must be durable and kept in good repair.
    • All other equipment must be constructed and maintained in a manner consistent with department standards.
    • Overhead protection must be provided for all food preparation and food storage areas. Materials such as canvas, plastic or wood that protect the establishment from the weather will be approved. A site should be chosen which will minimize problems with dirt and dust.

    Public Food Event VS Private Food Event

    A permit from the Health Department is required for:

    • Any event open to the public where food is provided unless the exceptions below apply.

    A permit from the Health Department is not required for:

    • An establishment that offers only prepackaged non- potentially hazardous foods.
    • A produce stand that offers only whole, uncut fruits and vegetables.
    • A kitchen in a private home if only food that is non-potentially hazardous is prepared for sale or service as part of a not-for profit event. Examples include a religious on non-profit organization having a bake sale.
    • A closed event, with only invited guests. The public must not be able to attend without invitation. Examples of closed events include religious gatherings involving members of a church, weddings parties, family reunions, or company picnics.
    • A private kitchen of a family day care facility, or a bed and breakfast facility limited to 4 bedrooms or less.