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Environmental Health

Food Safety Program: Mobile Food Facilities


Mobile Food Facility (MFF) means any vehicle used in conjunction with a commissary or other permanent food facility upon which food is sold or distributed at retail. "MFF" does not include a "Transporter" used to transport packaged food from a food facility or other approved source to the consumer.

Mobile Support Unit (MSU) means a vehicle used in conjunction with a commissary or other permanent food facility, that travels and services MFFs as needed to replenish supplies, including food and potable water, to clean the interior of the unit or to dispose of liquid wastes. Auxiliary Conveyance (AC) is a means of transport for the warewashing and/or handwashing sinks used in conjunction with and maintained immediately adjacent to, the primary unit of the MFF. When used in conjunction with MFF, an AC shall contain all utility connections.

Conveyance is a means of transport; i.e. a vehicle or cart.

Commissary means an approved permanent food facility that services MFFs, MSUs, or vending machines where anyone of the following occurs:

  • Food, containers or supplies are stored
  • Food is prepared or prepackaged for sale or service at other locations
  • Utensils are cleaned
  • Liquid and solid wastes are disposed or potable water is obtained

Food Compartment means an enclosed space including, but not limited to, an air pot, blender, bulk dispensing system, covered chafing dish, and covered ice bin with all of the following characteristics:

  • The space is defined as a physical barrier from the outside environment that completely encloses all food, food contact surfaces and the handling of non-prepackaged foods.
  • All access openings are equipped with tight fitting closures or one or more alternative barriers that effectively protect food from contamination, facilitate safe food handling while minimizing exposure to the environment.
  • It is constructed from materials that are non-toxic, smooth, easily cleanable and durable and is constructed to facilitate the cleaning of the interior of the compartment.

Limited Food Preparation means food preparation that is restricted to one or more of the following:

  • Heating, frying, baking, roasting, popping, shaving of ice, blending, steaming or boiling of hot dogs or assembly of non-prepackaged food
  • Dispensing and portioning of non-potentially hazardous foods
  • Holding, portioning and dispensing of any foods that are prepared for satellite food service by on-site permanent food facility or prepackaged by another approved source
  • Slicing and chopping of food on a heated cooking surface during the cooking process
  • Cooking and seasoning to order
  • Preparing beverages that are for immediate service in response to an individual consumer order, that do not contain frozen milk products

Limited Food Preparation does not include any of the following:

  • Slicing and chopping unless it is on the heated cooking surface
  • Thawing
  • Cooling of cooked, potentially hazardous foods
  • Grinding raw ingredients or potentially hazardous foods
  • Re-heating of potentially hazardous foods for hot-holding except for steamed or boiled hot dogs and tamales in the original, inedible wrapper
  • Hot-holding of non-prepackaged, potentially hazardous food, except for roasting corn on the cob, steamed or boiled hot-dogs and tamales in the original, inedible wrapper
  • Washing of foods
  • Cooking of potentially hazardous foods for later use

Menu Change means a modification of a food facility menu that would require a change in the food facility's preparation methods, storage equipment or storage facility previously approved by the local enforcement agency. These changes may include, but are not limited to, the addition of potentially hazardous foods to a menu, installation of new food preparation or storage equipment or increasing storage capacity.

Occupied Mobile Food Facility (OMFF) means an MFF that is a commercial modular coach occupied during business operations; a fully enclosed MFF. All food preparations other than limited food preparation must be within an OMFF.

Prepackaged Food means any properly labeled processed food, prepackaged to prevent any direct human contact with the food product upon distribution from the manufacturer, and prepackaged from an approved source.

Potentially Hazardous Foods means food that is natural or synthetic and that requires temperature control because it is in a form capable of supporting the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms, the growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum, or, in raw shell eggs, the growth of Salmonella enteritidis.

Refrigeration Unit means a mechanical unit that extracts heat from an area through liquefaction and evaporation of a fluid by a compressor, flame or thermoelectric device that regulates blown air into an enclosed area at or below the minimum required food storage temperature of potentially hazardous foods.

Single Operating Site Mobile Food Facility (SOSMFF) means at least one, but not more than four, unenclosed MFFs and their "auxiliary" units that operate adjacent to each other at a single location. A SOSMFF is restricted to produce, prepackaged foods and limited food preparation.


Click here for a pdf version of these definitions relevant to Mobile Food Facilities