The popularity of food trucks is at an all-time high. It seems every weekend, during nice-weather months, there’s a food truck festival going on somewhere in the Valley. The beautiful thing about food trucks is they are mobile. You can literally drive the deliciousness onto school property. Before doing so though, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- First, depending on the extent of food preparation, a permit may be required for the food truck. Maricopa County, for example, requires a food truck – also known as a mobile food unit – to obtain a valid permit, which is then non-transferable.
- The school should inquire with their attorney regarding the necessity of insurance. The question to ask is whether the school should require the food truck be insured, and at what amount.
- In certain situations, individuals selling or handling food are required to have food worker cards. The school should require that any food truck worker have this card and if necessary, have the ability to view the cards.
- It is important to be mindful of the laws regarding food sales before and after school. If the school participates in the National School Lunch Program, then the selling of certain food items during school hours might be prohibited and all other foods should meet the federal nutrition standards. Outside the school hours all foods are generally permitted to be sold.
- If the school is planning on bringing the food truck as a means to fundraise, there could be limitations. The accounts the school can deposit those funds into may be limited.
- Funny enough, Maricopa County requires toilets be within 200 feet of all food trucks and that temporary toilets be positioned outside 25 feet of the truck. The food truck owner or operator should be aware of this but it would be helpful when planning where to position the food truck.
Finally, it is important to consider whether an agreement is necessary between the school and the food truck operator. Agreements may be a way to protect the school and the food truck. Indemnification and inspection provisions might be necessary. Having a lawyer craft an agreement that schools could use when enlisting the services of a food truck could protect the school’s and the food truck’s interests. And it is good practice for the school and the food truck so they can continue to operate on campuses.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Food Trucks and School Agreements, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.