Los Angeles Cracks Down on Food Trucks

Food Carts Portland

Politics, land use and economic development are complex issues in cities. The growing popularity of food carts in some places is causing friction between the carts, neighborhoods, businesses, and often police.

Take Los Angeles for example, where police have started chasing off mobile food vendors from the area known as “Miracle Mile”. The Los Angeles Times reports in this article:

…But last week, the lines disappeared after police officers swooped in and forced Green Truck and several other mobile food vendors parked in the mid-Wilshire area to move on.

Some drivers said they were cited for minimal violations such as parking too close to the curb, or parking too far away. Others said they were ordered to pack up and leave.

I have a few problems with this article. Specifically, the article fails to explain whether or not the carts are allowed by law, and why Police have the authority to remove carts on grounds of,

“They don’t have city and health department permits,” said Lt. Dan Hudson, watch commander at the Los Angeles Police Department Wilshire Division. “Restaurants complain because the lunch trucks are taking their business, and they don’t have [proper] permits.”

My take? If the carts do not have proper permits, then that is a valid health and legal violation, but should be handled in a consistent manner across the board and in a way that follows standard city and county procedures. Laws do exist to protect consumers. Carts, like any other business, need to operate on the up and up. Yet, the pesky questioning journalist in me keeps coming back to this line in the article,

“Restaurants complain because the lunch trucks are taking their business, and they don’t have [proper] permits.”

Is this a case of “just following the rules”, or is Los Angeles bowing from political pressure of restaurant owners who feel the carts are too competitive? Portland’s own Koifusion Korean Taco Truck (Koifusion is friends with the LA based truck giant Kogi BBQ), weighs in with their feisty opinion here

What are your thoughts? LA taco truck crack down, justified or not? Is this something food carts and their adoring fans in Portland should be worried about happening in our fair city?

Comments

  1. MOST OF THE FOOD TRUCK ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE PROPER RULES LIKE CLEAN THEIR TRUCK AT APPROVED COMMISSARY TO SAVE MONEY OF THE RENT, THAT,S WHY THEY END UP CLEANING THEIR VEHICULE AT HOME, PREPARING THEIR FOOD AT HOME WITHOUNT ANY INSPECTION …..THINK ABOUT PLACE THAT,S DOESNT HAVE WATER OR SEWAGE LINE, WHO YOU CAN PERFORM KITCHEN JOB.

  2. Jeremy from Yarp?! says:

    I don’t know about California regulations, but I do know that many of the food carts here in Puddleton are class 4; meaning that a commissary is not required for cleaning/preparation of food. A class 4 food cart is essentially a restaurant on wheels; but with stricter regulations than a brick and board kitchen (with significant focus on the transport, storage and preparation of food). I do know that most food carts are a safer bet than brick and board restaurants purely because limited storage forces fresher product. Also, in the winter, the internal temperature of a cart (when not open and running) is definitely within the safe zone.

    All the food at Yarp?! is prepared at Yarp?!, and all the cleaning is done by using our potable water tank and a filter system, and our gray water is disposed of in accordance to county law. I can tell you honestly that Yarp?! is cleaner and more hygienic than many of the restaurants in town (a few that are incredibly worse still somehow stay open) and that the county health department is incredibly on top of how we run our kitchen. We rarely have product for more than a single day and both Chad and I are extremely vigilant when it comes to customer safety. Chad is Servsafe certified and I have never had a kitchen score less than 95% compliant on my watch.

    As I said, I don’t know what the regulations for California are, but I can assure you that here in Multnomah county you are more likely to get sick from a brick and mortar restaurant than a food cart purely because of the storage issue and the counties strict regulations on food cart operations.

Speak Your Mind

*

css.php