Mobile Food Unit Requirements



All mobile food units must meet ALL the following requirements prior to permit

approval by this Department.


1.      All equipment
provided must be in good repair and meet the standards required in 410 IAC 7-20
(or as amended). All new refrigeration
units installed in mobile food units must be able to maintain internal food
temperatures at 41F or below. (The exemption for existing refrigeration
equipment will be explained by the inspector.)

2.      Each unit preparing/handling/selling
open foods must be provided with either a 3-compartment sink or a mechanical
warewashing machine capable of proper sanitization. Proper drainboards, utensil racks, or movable dishtables must be
provided for storage of soiled and cleaned dishes.

3.      A handsink
with hot and cold running water (as well as soap and paper towels) must be
provided for adequate and
accessible handwashing.

4.      A separate
preparation sink designated for food preparation (cleaning, cutting, etc.) must
be provided if foods such as meats and vegetables are prepared on-site.

5.      All floor,
wall, ceiling, water tank, and food-contact surfaces must be constructed of
materials that are smooth, durable, corrosion-resistant, easily-cleanable and

6.      Accurate and
properly located thermometers must be provided in each cold-holding
(refrigeration/freezer) unit. A
probe/stem thermometer must also be provided for monitoring internal food

7.      Adequate
space/equipment/shelving must be provided for the storage of all food products,
supplies and cleaning implements and chemicals.

8.      Proper
backflow/back-siphonage devices must be installed at the water source of the
mobile unit if water is continuously supplied at any given time (by a hose,
pipe, etc.). The device must be
approved for continuous pressure and no cross-connections or potential sources
of contamination will be allowed.

9.      Any hoses used
for conveying water to or from a mobile unit must be: (1) safe, durable,
corrosion-resistant, non-absorbent, (2) resistant to pitting, chipping,
scratching, scoring, distortion, (3) finished with a smooth interior surface,
and (4) clearly and durably identified as to their use if not permanently
attached (so as not to be mistakenly used for another purpose). In other words, the hose should be a
food-grade hose. Furthermore, hoses
used for waste may not be used for any other purpose.

10. A sewage
(wastewater) holding tank must be fifteen percent (15%) larger in capacity than
the water supply tank, and must be sloped to a drain that is one (1) inch in
inner diameter or greater, equipped with a shut-off valve.

11. All water must
be obtained from an approved and potable source operated in accordance with the
law. All plumbing codes must be met at
all times.

12. A mobile water
tank must be: (1) sloped to an outlet that allows complete drainage of the
tank, (2) have an inlet that is 3/4 in inner diameter or less, and provided
with a hose connection that will prevent its use for any other service.

13. If provided, a
water tank vent shall terminate in a downward direction and shall be covered
with a proper screen and a protective filter when the vent is in an area that
is not protected from windblown dirt and debris.

14. A cap and
keeper chain, closed cabinet, closed storage tube, or other approved protective
cover or device must be provided for a water inlet, outlet, and hose to
protect it from contamination and the entrance of unwanted debris.

15. Sewage and
other liquid wastes must be removed at an approved waste servicing area or by a
sewage transport vehicle in such a way that a public health hazard or nuisance
is not created.


NOTE: Dishwashing facilities and a preparation
sink are not required for units selling ONLY pre-packaged, non-potentially
hazardous foods or for units in which the only open foods being
prepared/handled are hotdogs.




Each mobile food unit must operate
from an approved/licensed commissary and shall report at least daily to such
location for all supplies, extra food storage, and cleaning and servicing
operations. (SEE NOTE BELOW FOR
The commissary must meet the following requirements:


(1)   The commissary
must be a licensed food establishment that meets all applicable requirements of
410 IAC 7-20 and Title 10, Article 2 (Allen County Food and Beverage
Ordinance). Private homes may not be
used as commissaries. The commissary
does not have to be located in Allen County, but it still must be an approved

(2)   If the owner
of the mobile food unit and the owner of the commissary are not one in the
same, a letter must be received from the owner of the commissary stating the
operations that will be allowed to be conducted at that establishment.

(3)   The commissary
is to be used for: (1) proper cleaning
of the mobile food unit, (2) disposal of wastewater, (3) gaining potable water
for the water tank, (4) storage of all extra food and supplies, (5)
storage/refrigeration of foods that cannot be temperature maintained on the
unit during times when the unit is not operating, (6) general servicing of the
unit. If the mobile unit is motorized
and is actually pulled into/parked inside of the commissary for servicing all
food storage and equipment must be completely separated to prevent any
potential contamination.

(4)   The commissary
must be provided with a utility/mop sink for proper cleaning of the unit
(floors, exterior of unit, equipment, etc.).
If grease is a primary waste product of the mobile food unit, the
commissary must be equipped with adequate facilities for proper grease

(5)   If provided,
the outdoor servicing area must be provided with overhead cover to prevent
environmental contamination during the cleaning of the unit.

(6)   The mobile
unit does not HAVE to return to the commissary each day of operation if: (1) it is involved in a fair or festival and
moving the unit is impossible, or (2) if the mobile unit is equipped with its
own utility/mop sink allowing on-board cleaning daily. (In some situations, the handsink on
the mobile unit can also be used as a utility sink.) In either case, however, a
commissary must still be provided and used when warranted.




(1)   Only
single-service, disposable utensils and dishware shall be provided for consumer

(2)   If the mobile
food unit is a trailer and preparation and/or grilling takes place outside of
the unit, the outdoor area must also be provided with proper handwashing
facilities. The preparation area must
be properly covered to protect the food from contamination (except that the
actual grilling unit itself does not need to be covered due to fire safety
reasons). Adequate water supply must be
provided at the mobile unit for any subsequent cleaning that may be required of
the outdoor area.

(3)   Provisions
must be made on the mobile food unit to protect all areas from insects,
rodents, and outdoor weather conditions (screens, fans, etc.).

(4)   Entry/Exit
doors to the mobile food unit must be tight-fitting and self-closing. If the door is left open, a proper screen
must be provided, kept closed, and in good repair.




the mobile unit only offers for sale ONLY frozen food products, the following


(1)   The mobile
food unit (truck, etc.) must be able to maintain all potentially hazardous
foods hard frozen at 0F or below. Mechanical refrigeration is not required. However, if a domestic freezer/refrigeration
unit it used, it must be located so there is no potential for environmental
contamination. (For example, if located
on the back of a pick-up truck, it must be provided with a cap that protects
it from rain, birds, etc.) Furthermore,
if mechanical refrigeration is not provided and temperature violations are
encountered, the unit will not be allowed to operate until such time as proper
temperatures can be maintained at all times.

(2)   A thermometer
must be provided and properly located to monitor ambient air temperature of the
unit at all time.

(3)   Display
items/products may not be sold.

(4)   The mobile
food unit must operate from an approved and licensed commissary. The commissary must be provided with a
utility/mop sink for cleaning of the unit.
If the commissary is designed only for servicing of the mobile food
unit, then certain Code exemptions can be granted by this Department based on
the situation.

(5)   Unless the
commissary is approved for such a purpose, no repackaging of foods may take
place. All foods must be sold in their
original manufacturers packaging provided with proper labeling.

(6)   If the owner
of the mobile food unit and the owner of the commissary are not one in the
same, a letter must be received from the owner of the commissary stating the
operations that will be allowed to be conducted at that establishment.


Application and fee payment must take place prior to opening a
mobile food unit. All mobile food units
must be inspected prior to permit approval.
(All other applicable food protection requirements in 410 IAC 7-20 must
be followed at all times.)


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