In 1936 famed hot dog producer Oscar Mayer launched its mobile hot dog cart named The Weiner Mobile. Since then, street food has gone through an extraordinary evolution, beginning with Kogi BBQ, a Korean-taco truck that is known as the first gourmet food truck. After the success of Kogi, the food truck industry blossomed into a $1.2 billion dollar industry in the U.S. and an almost $300 million dollar industry in Canada. With this rise in popularity there has been a synonymous rise in the health and safety regulations for food trucks, as food safety professionals work hard to ensure that these trucks and the food they produce stay safe for consumers.
Read on to discover four food truck safety practices enforced in the City of Toronto that food technology training students need to know.
1. Food Technology Students Know that Food Trucks Need a Place for Hand Washing
Every food truck in Toronto must have a hand washing basin. Toronto deems the lack of a hand washing basin and hand washing supplies to be a ‘significant infraction’ that must be corrected within 24-48 hours of it being pointed out by food safety professionals. Canada’s largest analysis of public health inspections of major restaurants found that a lack of hand washing amongst restaurant workers is still a major problem.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention found that 89% of food contamination was caused by improper food handling by workers. As a food technology training student you have the opportunity to develop a career in many fields, including regulatory affairs, so keep in mind the importance of hand washing once you begin your career.
2. Keeping Food Cold: What Food Technology Training Students Need to Know
Food trucks need fridges to store perishables. Given the compact size of food trucks, refrigerators are usually underneath a work station in order to maximize space. They’re also often made of stainless steel, as this is an easy surface material to sterilize and keep clean.
Food technology courses teach students that Health Canada designates that food needs to be kept in a fridge at no warmer than four degrees Celsius. But, if employees are constantly opening and closing the refrigerator door, the fridge will slowly heat up, so truck fridges should be set at a few degrees cooler than the 4 degrees Celsius maximum during operation times.
3. Food Technology Students Know That Good Air Flow is Good for Health and Safety
In the City of Toronto, every food truck needs to have adequate ventilation in their truck to ensure it is safe. Proper ventilation keeps food trucks, their employees, and their food safe from the heat and from any fumes or smoke emitted during the cooking process. Plus, worker productivity is best between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius. If a food truck isn’t ventilated properly, temperatures rise and workers may begin to slow and make more mistakes that may result in injury. That’s why food safety professionals make sure to check air flow in each food truck they inspect.
4. Running Water in Food Trucks: Here’s What Food Technology Students Need to Know
Food trucks are equipped with two tanks; one for fresh water, and one for ‘grey water’ that is the used water from washing hands and dishes. Tanks are made of a similar material as Tupperware so they don’t ‘leak’ toxins into the water and are easy to clean. Often, fresh water is connected to propane gas heaters in the truck that can heat water to a level that assists in the sanitation of dishes and hands. If you decide to pursue a career in regulatory affairs once you complete your food safety training, then you’ll want to make sure that these water tanks are in good working order.
A food technology diploma can put you in a position to assist with keeping food trucks, restaurants, and food processing plants safe.
Contact an advisor today for more information.