Friday, April 27, 2012


The Food Truck phenomenon has spread far and wide in the United States and customers are increasingly patronizing these mobile eating joints almost bordering on frenzy! Sociologists, psychologists, economists and health experts are baffled by this trend while established restaurants are fretting and fuming because of its impact on their bottom line. After witnessing literally the explosive growth of Food Trucks during the last couple of years, regulatory authorities are lately waking up to the potential for food poisoning and food related afflictions due to this lightly regulated catering system. Many civic authorities are trying to tighten the monitoring regime for these trucks though in practice it poses enormous logistical problems. These are highlighted in a recent report emanating from the west coast of the US. 

"Food trucks have rapidly become a delicious mealtime staple around San Diego County, with new trucks and locations popping up on a daily basis. This semester, USD has even decided to jump on board the movement with the installment of Torero Tu Go, the West Coast's very first campus-run food truck. These gourmet meals on wheels range in specialties from prime grass-fed burgers, fresh pasta, modern Asian cuisine, seared ahi tuna, all the way to New England lobster rolls. Food lovers of all types can follow their favorite trucks on Facebook and Twitter to find their exact location each and every day. Currently there are nearly 1,100 food trucks and coffee carts roaming throughout the entire San Diego County, and the numbers continue to grow. Despite their hungry and grateful customers, food trucks have been subject to scrutiny and skepticism. The trucks are subjected to surprise health inspections on a yearly basis where the overall quality of both the food and truck itself are examined. In addition to the upkeep of the truck, inspectors also consider the temperature of the food storage, whether there is a proper hand washing area and whether or not all surfaces are sufficiently cleaned."

With established chefs and food connoisseurs getting into Food Truck business, there seems to be a perception among eating out diners that the foods served here are much better in terms of quality while very little concern is evident about the safety aspects. Probably a fool proof system of safety monitoring will have to be evolved in the coming days to pre-empt any unwanted health fiasco due to deficiencies in hygiene and sanitation. Since the United States has more than 50 states with different local laws a national consensus will have to emerge regarding regulating this nascent industry.


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