Setting the Record Straight: Food Trucks Are Inspected by the Health Department (UPDATED) | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Setting the Record Straight: Food Trucks Are Inspected by the Health Department (UPDATED)

Today's Sun-Sentinel features an article citing some concerns over whether food trucks are a safe place to eat. The article said that in 30 health inspections, no rats or roaches were found, but that in itself is interesting wording -- sort of like saying that no vampires or wolverines were turned up at a routine inspection of a local Applebee's.

The article did state that local food truck Latin Burger had not been inspected, according to Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokeswoman Beth Frady.

We called Latin Burger owner Jim Heins, who was on his way to the airport (to take a vacation, not to run from the health department, by the way). He hadn't seen the article, so we read it to him.

He said that Latin Burger has had two inspections by the State of

Florida -- one before Latin Burger was allowed to start operating on the

streets of Florida and again on September 27, 2010, for its random annual

inspection. Heins also noted that there are weekly inspections at the

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Heins invited us to look up his truck's inspection (it's listed under LB Restaurants). We did, and it looks like Latin Burger has a clean bill of health

Food trucks operating in Florida have to submit to the same regulations

and rules for cleanliness and safe food handling as brick-and-mortar

restaurants. In fact, ask any food-truck owner/operator and he'll be

happy to bend your ear on how clean his prep kitchen and truck

kitchen are. And we've never seen a rat, roach, or wolverine at any

food truck rally... though we suspect there were a few vampires out last


Update:  Because of inclement weather, the Seminole food truck roundup has been cancelled for tonight.

If you want to see for yourself, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

is holding a food-truck rally today from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Trucks

include B.C. Tacos, Big Kahuna, Che Grill, CheeseMe, Churro Mania,

Daddy's Grill, Dim Ssäm á GoGo, Dog Eat dog, Dolci Peccati, the Fish

Box, the Flying Saucer, the Frita Man, gastroPod, Greek Brothers (from

Tampa), Guiseppe's Italian Sausage, Latin Burger, Latin House Grill,

Mangia Mia, Miso Hungry, Mr. Good Stuff, Moty's Grill, Ms. Cheezious,

Nacho Mama's, Purple People Eatery, Red Koi, Rolling Stove, Sugar Rush,

Wicked Wiches (from Tampa), and Yellow Submarine.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss

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