Hungry Diners Aren't the Only Ones Fascinated with Food Trucks; Health Inspectors Are Too

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I have to admit that I just don’t understand the national fascination with food served from trucks. And by national, I pretty much mean Los Angeles and New York. The rest of the country is trying to emulate the two coasts’ current fad, as far as I can tell.

From what I can gather, it’s largely a Twitter phenomenon, at least at the source. In Los Angeles, where the trend apparently began (at least the trend that turned into the current craze), people were drawn in by daily tweets of food truckers to find out where they would be at a given hour. Instead of finding a place to call their own, as food trucks in, say, Orlando do, staking out a corner of a parking lot or gas station after making arrangements with the lot’s owner, food trucks in L.A. are more nomadic.

An article in today’s New York Times may suggest a reason for staying mobile: keeping ahead of the health inspectors. Now, I’m not one of those people who agonizes over the spotless sanitation of a working kitchen -- some of the inspection requirements would shut down most kitchens in private homes, and yet somehow we manage to live -- but there does need to be some accountability. Some people don’t think so: “Sometimes I get a kick out of eating where it doesn’t look like it’s the cleanest,” says one man quoted in the Times article. I wouldn’t go that far.

What do you think? Do you consider the sanitation of a food vending truck or cart before ordering? Do you ever ask, “Say, just where do you go to the bathroom?” Or would you rather not know?

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