Information for Food Truck Vendors
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY- All Mobile Commercial Kitchens (food trucks, food trailers, etc.) equipped with LPG gas SHALL have listed LPG Gas alarms. 2021 IFC 319.8.5
What you need to know:
Jackson Hole Fire/EMS enforces the International Fire Code, which, as of 2021, includes requirements for Mobile Food Preparation Vehicles (Food Trucks). The code language can be found here: IFC Chapter 319
If you intend to operate a Food Truck in Teton County, WY you are responsible for making certain all of your cooking, fuel systems and fire safety equipment are being serviced as required by the Fire Code. You are responsible for completing online mobile food prep vehicle checklist found here: Food Trucks. Once completed, call 307-733-4732 to schedule your annual inspection.
Here are some great links to help you understand why Food trucks are now being enforced by the International Fire Code and how you can maintain your vehicle for your and your clients’ safety. And as always, you are welcome to call us at 307-733-4732 for more information.
Common-sense tips for enhancing fire safety on food trucks
- Schedule regular inspections and maintenance of electrical equipment and keep an eye out for hazards like frayed wires or combustible items near power sources.
- Have your fire-suppression system professionally inspected semiannually. The manufacturer can refer you to an authorized distributor for inspection and maintenance.
- Have your exhaust system inspected for grease build-up. The NFPA Fire Code calls for quarterly inspections of systems in high-volume operations and semiannual inspections for moderate-volume operations. Monthly inspections are required for exhaust systems serving solid-fuel cooking equipment like wood or charcoal burning ovens.
- Train your food truck staff with fire safety basics. Train employees to never throw water on a grease fire. It can cause the grease to splatter and spread, making the fire worse. Class K fire extinguishers are best for fighting grease fires. Food trucks need two types of fire extinguishers: Class K extinguishers for fighting grease fires and Class ABC extinguishers for putting out standard fires, such as those involving paper products.
- Follow NFPA regulations for hydrostatically testing fire extinguishers and propane tanks. Make sure the equipment is stamped with the testing date to ensure it remains in proper working order.
- Regularly inspect kitchen exhaust systems within the truck for grease build-up. The frequency of inspections is defined in NFPA 96 (Annex B), based on the volume and type of cooking.
- Clean up grease at least once a day, concentrating on walls, work surfaces, ranges, fryers, broilers, grills, convection ovens, vents, and filters. Pay extra attention to exhaust hoods, where grease buildup can restrict air flow. NFPA 96 (Annex B) provides extensive instructions for cleaning food truck exhaust systems.
- Keep the food truck as tidy as possible to reduce fire hazards. Keep paper products, linens, boxes, and food away from heat and cooking sources. Properly dispose of soiled rags, trash, cardboard boxes, and wooden pallets at least once a day.
- Remove ashes from wood- and charcoal-burning ovens at least once a day. NFPA 96 (Annex B) provides extensive guidance for ash removal.
- At least one employee on every shift should know how to shut off propane and electrical power in case of an emergency. Also designate one worker per shift to act as an evacuation manager with duties that include calling 911, determining when an evacuation is necessary, ensuring that everyone exits the truck safely, and leading customers a safe distance away. Along those lines, ensure that everyone on your staff knows the location of all exits on the truck.
- Store flammable liquids in their original containers or other puncture-resistant, tightly sealed vessels. Food truck kitchens are small, but operators must do their best to store these liquids in well-ventilated areas away from combustible supplies, food, food preparation areas, or sources of flames. Store paper products, linens, boxes and food away from the heat and cooking sources. Properly dispose of soiled rags, trash, cardboard boxes and wooden pallets at least once a day.
- Use chemical solutions in well-ventilated areas and immediately clean up any spills. Never mix chemicals unless instructed by the manufacturer’s directions.
Fire Safety Basics: Fire Prevention
- Find and use a fire extinguisher appropriately. If a fire breaks An acronym you may find helpful is PASS- Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.
- Prepare An Emergency Plan If a fire breaks out in your food truck, your staff must take control of the situation and all employees must safely exit the vehicle and lead customers to a point safely away from the truck.
- Be prepared to power down. Train at least one worker per shift how to shut off propane and electrical power in case of emergency.
- Have an evacuation plan. Designate one staff member per shift to be evacuation manager. That person should be in charge of calling 911, determining when an evacuation is necessary and ensuring that everyone exits the food truck safely. Ensure your staff knows where all of the exits are.
- Offer emergency training. Teach new employees about evacuation procedures and the usage of fire-safety equipment. Give veteran staff members a refresher course at least annually.