Councilman: Letter grades coming for food trucks

Published: Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 5, 2013 at 11:18 PM EST
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Councilman Kevin Kramer
Councilman Kevin Kramer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Letter grades, like the ones you see at restaurants, could be on the way for food trucks in Louisville Metro. While some argue food trucks are as safe as any other restaurant, one councilman said the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness wants to make sure.

Councilman Kevin Kramer, chairman of the public safety committee, does not believe the current food truck system creates a huge health problem. However, Kramer does say the risk is there.

"There is a potential for a health problem," Kramer said. "Obviously some of these food trucks are not operating the way that they should."

Inspections by Metro Health and Wellness the reveal lots of stuff you'd want to know before eating off a food truck, including the fairly common problem of food trucks failing to maintain the proper water supply. Water used to wash, rinse and sanitize the utensils to serve you.

Right now you'd never know about the problems because even though food trucks are inspected by Metro Health and Wellness they are not required to display the results. That might change.

"It doesn't matter if you're in a restaurant or in a food truck, those standards need to be consistent," said Kramer. "How you get there might be different in a food truck."

Kramer met with Metro Health and Wellness inspectors Monday. He said they told him they're working on a letter grade system for food trucks similar to the ones you see at restaurants. But Kramer said Metro Health and Wellness is still working out the kinks, unsure how to implementing the A-B-C standards on businesses that are constantly on the go, rarely in the same location and working under completely different conditions than the current letter grade system was designed for.

"I think it's important that they figure it out," Kramer said. "I also am convinced from my meeting with the health department the other day that they are taking this very seriously."

Some food truck owners say they welcome the new standards.

"I'm behind it 100 percent," said John Sutton, owner of Johnny's Diner Car. "It makes it more quickly identifiable because it's something consumers are familiar with."

Metro Health and Wellness said they're not ready to talk about the possibility of letter grades for food trucks.

"We've looked at a lot of possibilities," said spokesman Dave Langdon. "A lot of things are on the table at this point."

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