Seattle: Health Inspectors Closely Watching Mobile Food Trucks

El Camion - Seattle, WA

by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

El Camion is one of nearly 300 mobile food trucks and carts that the county has listed.

King County says keeping tabs on these rolling businesses means making sure food carts are inspected once a year and food trucks three times a year at least. The results of those surprise inspections are then posted on the county’s website for the public to read.

You can check the website here: http://info.kingcounty.gov/health/ehs/foodsafety/inspections/search.aspx

“The number of times we visit a place does not indicate whether it is doing well or not, but it is worthwhile to look at what violations were written. The things like lack of hand washing would be the things you’d be most concerned about,” said health inspector Phil Wyman.

El Camion – Seattle, WA

Scott McGinnis, the owner of El Camion, says his business has been popular enough he has been able to expand. Now he has three food trucks in Seattle. McGinnis has been in the mobile food business for four years, long enough to see the industry change.

“One of the problems I’ve heard is that there are a lot of these that are illegal. We pay exorbitant amount of fees for permits. There’s a lot to stay legal. It takes a lot of money, it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of effort,” said McGinnis.

McGinnis added bad trucks can make business tough for everyone. At his food trucks he says he wants to change preconceived notions about food trucks.

“There’s a lot of people that don’t want to try these trucks, but if you can get them to cross the line, say this ones clean, let’s try this one, then it starts to open the door,” said McGinnis.