California Housing and Community Development is a State agency that inspects and certifies vehicles as “special purpose commercial modular.” California Health and Safety Code section 18012.5 defines a special purpose commercial modular as: “…a vehicle with or without motive power, designed and equipped for human occupancy for industrial, professional or commercial purposes…”
This includes any fully enclosed MFF in which the operator occupies the vehicle to cook or prepare food for service. No Environmental Health Permit to operate will be issued to any fully enclosed MFF that does not contain an Insignia from having passed inspection.
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A mobile food facility is defined as any vehicle used in conjunction with a commissary or other permanent food facility upon which food is sold or distributed at retail. This includes:
All MFFs (including carts) shall obtain approval from the local Planning and Zoning departments to operate on either private and public property, and also the property owner for private property.
All MFFs shall have the business name or name of the operator (3 inches high lettering) and the city, state, and zip code (1 inch high lettering) permanently affixed on two sides of the vehicle.
The following is a sample Housing and Community Development special purpose commercial modular insignia.
Contact Manufactured Housing at 916-445-3338. For a small fee they will research their records to see if the mobile vehicle has ever been issued the insignia. If it has they will provide you with a duplicate insignia.
Contact the Housing and Community Development (HCD) Northern California Field Office at 916-255-2501. They will have you submit the following items to schedule your inspection:
Once your vehicle contains the HCD insignia, you are ready to complete the permitting process with Placer County Environmental Health.
A commissary is an approved, permitted commercial kitchen which an MFF shall use for storage of food and supplies, cleaning and sanitizing of utensils, sanitary disposal of garbage and liquid waste, filling of the potable water tank, cleaning and maintenance of the MFF, and any food prep that can’t be performed inside the vehicle. An MFF operator is not permitted to do any of these activities at home.
See the following, an excerpt from the definition of limited food preparation, per California Retail Food Code section 113818:
To prepare and serve sausages from a cart (or other unenclosed vehicle) without the requirement of a 3-compartment sink, the sausages are required to meet the definition of a hot dog per CalCode section 113807: “Hot dog means a whole, cured, cooked sausage that is skinless or stuffed in a casing…”
Preparation of any sausage that does not meet the definition of a hot dog is considered full prep and will require a fully enclosed mobile facility.
A MFF may only utilize an open-air BBQ or outdoor wood-burning oven at a permitted Community Event. Please speak with the event coordinator or contact Placer County Environmental Health to determine if it is a permitted Community Event.
A MFF may only set up pop-up tents and tables outside the vehicle at a permitted Community Event. Please speak with the event coordinator or contact Placer County Environmental Health to determine if it is a permitted Community Event.
Community events must be temporary in nature to meet Placer County Environmental Health’s requirements for permitting. A local brewery/winery that serves beverages to the public on a daily or weekly basis, year-round, cannot be permitted as a Community Event. As a permitted MFF, you may operate at the brewery/winery, however, you may not set up pop-up tents or utilize an open-air BBQ or outdoor wood burning oven, as those are only allowed at Community events.
The restroom verification form (Section F of the application packet) shall be filled out if your MFF conducts business in a specified location for more than one hour. The owner of the restroom must sign the form stating they are granting permission for your facility to use the restroom, and that they will maintain the cleanliness and the supplies inside the restroom.