Food truck fans can expect to start seeing grades as they step up to order. Public health inspectors have examined about 100 mobile food vendors since the beginning of the year.
The grilled cheese truck is one of first mobile food vendors to get a letter grade. Co-owner Dave Danhi says the blue capital A letter validates the restaurant-style standards he demands from his crew.
“Restaurants can get inspected two-three times a year," Danhi said. "We get inspected, ya’ know, sometimes 10-times a year depending on where we’re at.”
Los Angeles County health inspectors started evaluating full-service catering trucks at the beginning of the year. They’ve made it through about a hundred of the 6,000 in the county. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says the goal is to make truck operators more accountable.
“…they don’t want to get a B or a C rating because there are too many… competition that have A ratings,” Yaroslavsky says.
If that does happen, LA County’s Chief Public Health officer Dr. Jonathan Fielding says truck operators can pay a fee and call back inspectors for a follow-up evaluation.
“…and then they have to stay with that grade…” Fielding says.
Health services worker Derrick Brown says a “C” grade would turn his stomach - and turn him away. He grabs lunch twice a week from food trucks.
“I don’t know if hunger can overcome the thought of me getting food poisoning afterwards,” Brown says.
Keeping people healthy is what public health officials say they hope to achieve by going back to the A, B, C’s of food safety.