LA food trucks to get letter grades

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Gina Delvac & Anny Celsi/KPCC

Food trucks at KPCC's food truck event in the Crawford Family Forum, Tuesday, October 5, 2010.

The Los Angeles County Health Department is extending its restaurant letter-grading system to mobile food trucks.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved the ordinance today. It’ll affect about 3,200 catering trucks that sell mobile meals from traditional Mexican food to gourmet goodies like sushi and home-made Italian dishes.

Supervisor Don Knabe says the vast menu options, and the increased potential for food-borne illnesses, concerned public health officials.

“It’s much more controllable inside of a restaurant, existing facility, where you have gas and heat and ice and ice makers to where somebody’s on the street. They’re really busy. They’re running out of time and they have to make it to the next stop and all of a sudden the ice runs out. All of a sudden the salads are wilted,” Knabe says.

Knabe says the new regulations take effect in a month. Like restaurants, trucks - and eventually hot dog carts - will display an A, B or C grade.

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