Are food carts subject to health inspections?

Are food carts subject to health inspections? »Play Video

TIGARD, Ore. – Just because they’re miniature doesn’t mean they don’t get inspected just like full-service restaurants.

The hitch: food carts don’t receive a health score after inspections.

The Problem Solvers get a lot of questions about food carts: For instance, who’s checking up on them to ensure the food is safe?

To answer your questions and understand the healthy-cooking process in those tiny kitchens, we followed an inspector along as he scooped out a Tigard food cart, 808 Grinds.

Jeremy Long, a Washington County health inspector, showed us how he checks food temperatures – with a digital thermometer.

A top necessity for healthy food-keeping? Temperatures, especially dishes like the macaroni salad.

“…It’s nice and cold at about 39 degrees,” Long said, inspecting the salad. “So that’s perfect.”

The inspector also checked out where the cooks fill up water. He also examined bleach levels in the sanitizer bucket used to kill germs on counters.

At the end of the inspection, 808 Grinds co-owner Jensen Yip is not surprised to have no violations.

“We’re pretty confident about how we conduct ourselves in the kitchen,” he said.

Yip said his passion goes beyond receiving a perfect health score.

“The joy they express to us when they eat the food, the satisfaction they get really speaks to the heart,” he said.