L.A. Food Trucks to Post Letter Grade Inspection Results

By Lisa Jennings | NRN

Mobile food vendors in Los Angeles will soon be required to post letter grades indicating the results of their most recent inspection under a plan that was given final approval this week by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Though initially only enforceable in unincorporated areas of the county, the board recommended that the measure — which goes into effect next month — be adopted by cities within Los Angeles County, which also require the letter grade food-safety system for brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Food truck operators, which have been proliferating throughout the region, actively supported their inclusion in the letter-grade program, arguing that it would help their niche gain legitimacy.

The measure was proposed by county health officials who said letter grades would help consumers know which trucks are inspected and follow food-safety regulations.

Mobile vendors are currently inspected, but, under the new plan, they will be inspected twice annually and must post the results in the form of a letter grade. Those scoring less than a C would be subject to closure.

The program will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will begin in November and will include the inspection of about 3,200 full-service catering trucks operating in the county. The second phase is scheduled to begin in July 2011 and will include roughly 2,800 hot dog, churro and other limited foodservice carts or vehicles.

Under the plan, mobile vendors will have to routinely report their routes to county inspectors.