Exploring Food Truck Food Safety Training and Practices in the United States: A Qualitative Study

Sara Ghezzi, Baker Ayoun, Yee Ming Lee Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 413-423, Nov 2020 Volume 40, Issue 6: Pages 413–423

The food truck industry is rapidly growing, and yet the policies governing this segment of the food service industry are inconsistent or lack enforcement. This study explored food truck owners’ and managers’ attitudes toward food safety training, the challenges of providing food safety training, and the preferred food safety training methods. The study also investigated food safety practices and concerns specific to the food truck sector. A qualitative study utilizing focus groups and individual face-to-face interviews with food truck owners and managers from several cities in the United States (i.e., Atlanta, Birmingham, Miami, and San Francisco) was conducted. The results showed that ServSafe was the most used food safety training method. Food safety training was viewed as necessary and essential for a food truck business. The food truck owners and managers perceived time, money, and lack of appropriate facilities as barriers to providing training to their employees. The food truck owners and managers were open minded in incorporating helpful tools and/or methods to assist their efforts in food safety training. Several food safety challenges specific to food truck operations were related to pest control, storage, temperature control, handwashing, and equipment. The results also suggested that food trucks operators need innovative training methods and assistance to alleviate food safety challenges.

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