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Rolling Restaurants: Food Trucks Required to Display Letter Grades

The letter grades seen in restaurant windows will now be required for food trucks in San Diego County.

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Food truck operators will be required to display the same health inspection letter grades as restaurants under an ordinance passed unanimously Wednesday by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

This year's free has featured different food trucks each week (, but the ordinance likely won't have time to take affect in time to see the decals this summer.

The county inspects around 1,100 mobile food operations in the region, of which 550 sell to the public, but the operators were not previously required to display the results, Supervisor Ron Roberts said. Restaurants generally display their blue letter grade on a placard in a front window. Under the ordinance, the food trucks will receive decals instead of cards so the grades can’t be transferred among vehicles.

County Department of Environmental Health officials plan to work with the region’s 18 cities to establish uniform enforcement.

Staff will introduce fee adjustments related to implementing the new law in September. According to county documents, the costs for inspection could increase by as much as 14 percent, from around $450 to $500.

“The world is changing,” Roberts said. “At one time we had drive-in restaurants, now we have drive-around restaurants.”

The plan was supported by the San Diego County Restaurant Association and food truck owners, according to Roberts.

According to the county, of the 550 mobile establishments that sell to the public, around 300 are limited in scope, selling hot dogs and coffee. The rest are “hot food trucks,” “gourmet food trucks” and catering vehicles with complex menus and multiple ingredients.

Roberts said he hopes the county will begin putting the results of food truck safety inspections online, at the same website where the county shows reports on restaurants—eatsafesandiego.org.

The supervisors, as part of their consent agenda, also approved an update of county regulations of body art businesses—including tattoo shops and body piercing establishments—to bring them into line with new state law.

This week's food trucks at the Summer Concert:

  • Chop Sooey
  • Groogy's
  • Rubio's
  • Sweet Treats

-City News Service contributed to this report

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Joe Spencer July 12, 2012 at 05:38 PM
This should have been done a long time ago. They are already inspecting the trucks so why not post the grade.

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