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Mobile Food Facility Requirement Comparison Chart

There are hundreds of mobile food facilities operating in Contra Costa County ranging from full service catering trucks to ice cream push carts. Contra Costa County Environmental Health inspects and permits these facilities to ensure they are operated in compliance with regulations intended to keep food pure, safe and unadulterated.

This sheet provides a comparison of the requirements associated with each type of mobile food facility. For a full description of requirements, refer to the California Retail Food Code. The Code, along with additional handouts and information about mobile food facilities, can be found here.

 = Required
 = Not Required
Produce Vehicle Prepackaged Food Vehicle Hot Dog/ Tamale Cart, Corn Roaster Espresso/ Coffee Cart Limited Food Preparation Vehicle Enclosed Mobile Food Facility
Types of Food

Whole, uncut produce and prepackaged non- potentially hazardous food (PHF*)

Prepackaged products only

Hot dogs, tamales in wrappers, corn in husk, and prepackaged foods for hot holding

Coffee, coffee based products, espresso

Varies

Varies
Operations

Storage and selling of produce or non-PHF from vehicle

Storage and selling of prepackaged food from vehicle

Ability to steam or boil hot dogs for hot holding

Preparation of beverages without frozen milk products that are for immediate service to a consumer order

Cooking/ preparation for immediate service, dispensing/ portioning of non-PHF

Full service
Construction

Required to have smooth, easily cleanable, non- absorbent food storage areas.

Required to have smooth, easily cleanable, non- absorbent food storage areas.

Required to have NSF, UL listed equipment, and smooth, cleanable surfaces with no raw wood.

Required to have NSF, UL listed equipment, and smooth, cleanable surfaces with no raw wood.

Required to have NSF, UL listed equipment, and smooth, cleanable surfaces with no raw wood.

Required to have NSF, UL listed equipment, and smooth, cleanable surfaces with no raw wood.
 = Required
 = Not Required
Produce Vehicle Prepackaged Food Vehicle Hot Dog/ Tamale Cart, Corn Roaster Espresso/ Coffee Cart Limited Food Preparation Vehicle Enclosed Mobile Food Facility
Commissary

Requirement may be waived if vehicle sells or discards all stock by end of day.

Requirement may be waived if vehicle sells or discards all stock by end of day.

Required

Required

Required

Required
Mechanical Refrigeration


Not-Required if selling only non-PHF. Non- mechanical refrigeration permitted when limited to frozen ready-to-eat foods, whole fish, or whole aquatic invertebrates.

Required

Required

Required

Required
Fully enclosed/ compartment for food storage and/or preparation



Food compartment required

Food compartment required

Food compartment required

Must be fully enclosed
 = Required
 = Not Required
Produce Vehicle Prepackaged Food Vehicle Hot Dog/ Tamale Cart, Corn Roaster Espresso/ Coffee Cart Limited Food Preparation Vehicle Enclosed Mobile Food Facility
Hand Sink






Hand Wash Water Tank



5 gallons

5 gallons

5 gallons

5 gallons
Fresh Water Tank



15 gallons

15 gallons

15 gallons

15 gallons
 = Required
 = Not Required
Produce Vehicle Prepackaged Food Vehicle Hot Dog/ Tamale Cart, Corn Roaster Espresso/ Coffee Cart Limited Food Preparation Vehicle Enclosed Mobile Food Facility
Waste Water Tank


Not-Required, except for facilities that use ice for temperature control

50% larger than fresh water sources combined

50% larger than fresh water sources combined

50% larger than fresh water sources combined

50% larger than fresh water sources combined
Water Heater



½ gallon

½ gallon

½ gallon

3 gallons
Ware Wash Sink




A 3-, 2- or 1- compartment sink with adequate supply of serving utensils and in proximity to an approved 3- compartment sink may be permitted.

A 3- compartment sink is required unless cart is only serving non-PHF that do not require extensive preparation.

A 3- compartment sink is required
Hood






*Note: A potentially hazardous food, or PHF, is a food that requires time or temperature control to limit pathogenic micro-organism growth.

Download chart in PDF version.