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San Diego Food Trucks May Be Required To Display Health Inspections

The popularity of mobile food trucks continues to grow in San Diego County with about 1,100 making the rounds. Now more than half of them could possibly face new food safety requirements.

County Supervisors will consider a proposal on Tuesday to add its food safety grading system for restaurants -- to mobile eateries.

Evening Edition

Supervisor Ron Roberts said the time for change is now.

"We all want A's just like in school. This type of consumer awareness really creates incentives for the restaurants to make sure that they maintain the most sanitary conditions and the best conditions for public health," he said.

Roberts said when it comes to grading food safety it shouldn't matter where you get your food from -- you just need to know its been stored and prepared properly.

Aired 2/28/12 on KPBS News.

The popularity of mobile food trucks continues to grow in San Diego County with about 1,100 making the rounds. Now more than half of them could possibly face new food safety requirements.

San Diego was the first county in California to grade restaurants on issues related to health in the 1950s. Now Chairman Roberts wants to apply the A,B,C's to mobile food carts.

"An inspection report is kind of a complex thing, this really correlates to the inspection report and gives the public confidence that the system is serving them," he said.

"It's food safety, that's the key here," said Jack Miller, director of the Department of Environmental Health.

Miller oversees about 1,300 inspections a year of mobile food trucks in San Diego county. He said it's important the refrigeration system is working properly -- to avoid food borne illnesses. "Keeping food temperatures right, if there's hot foods being held, they need to be kept at the right temperature," Miller said.

Roberts proposal is mainly designed for those who cook and prepare food on the trucks, not those who sell mostly pre-packaged items.

Mike Morton knows all about the grading system. He's president of the California Restaurant Association, San Diego Chapter.

"Ultimately we're all serving meals to the public and I think we should all be regulated by the same bodies to insure for safety for all of our guests," Morton said.

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