LA County Implements Letter Grades for Food Trucks

Daisy Coleto wipes down her Larry's Hot Lunch truck at Rio Hondo College in Whittier on Thursday February 3, 2011. All mobile food trucks in Los Angeles County will be graded except in cities that don't use Los Angeles County Health inspections. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)

by Staff Report | WhittierDailyNews.com

Daisy Coleto wipes down her Larry's Hot Lunch truck at Rio Hondo College in Whittier on Thursday February 3, 2011. All mobile food trucks in Los Angeles County will be graded except in cities that don't use Los Angeles County Health inspections. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)

People who crave food truck fare will now have a better idea how clean they are inside after county officials Thursday implemented a letter-grade system for the mobile eateries similar to what restaurants have to post.

The Mobile Food Facility Grading Program, which went into effect in parts of the county at the beginning of this year, will now be enforced in all county communities and in cities that use the county’s Department of Public Health to inspect and grade restaurant, officials said.

Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health, helped launch the program countywide at a news conference Thursday, joined by Angelo Bellomo, director of the Environmental Health Division of the Department of Public Health.

Officials said the new system will hold food trucks to the same health standards as restaurants.

“The success of the Restaurant Grading Program has demonstrated that residents of Los Angeles County have come to expect a certain level of food safety when eating at a brick and mortar facility,” county officials said in a news release.

“By applying these same requirements to mobile food facilities, Angelenos can be confident and empowered in making healthier decisions about the food they are eating, based on objective food safety findings and criteria.”

At Rio Hondo College in Whittier, students who regularly line up at Larry’s Hot Lunch’s truck, which parks in the courtyard in between the administration and science

buildings, said they welcomed the change.

“I’m glad that food trucks are being graded,” student Isaac Elisaldez said. “We all look for that grade when walking into a restaurant, and it should not be any different for food trucks.”

Larry’s Hot Lunch Inc. employee Daisy Coleto said her company will have no problem complying with inspections and posting the letter grade.

“It’s a good idea to grade the food trucks, because a lot of trucks are serving food without permits and more control is necessary,” said Coleto.