For the second time in the past four years, the Boston Globe, has published an article suggesting that food trucks are less safe to the public than restaurants. I have no problem with accountability and I have had occasion here to do so. There is no excuse at all not to have properly running water on a truck. I know, as has been the case with Savory, there can be food temp problems. I’ve had more questions when I have gotten lunch at some Fooda vendors, than I have at food trucks. I’m not sure how those are inspected by the city, I certainly can’t search on “Fooda”. In fact, searching capabilities on the Mayor’s Food Court by neighborhood, pretty much does not work. That is, unless suddenly, there are no more restaurants in the Back Bay, since looking there gives you zero results.
So yes, there are food trucks that get closed based on a bad inspection. The Globe says, this happens far more with food trucks than restaurants. I’d suggest, and will show you, that perhaps the playing field isn’t level. Simply, how many critical violations should it take to stop a kitchen from functioning? Savory had 4 – one on hot holding, one on no hand washing, one on the hand washing not working and one for no allergen warning.
In February of this year, Eataly has an inspection with 4 violations, yet no suspension. In November, Back Bay Social Club had 27 violations at different levels.- no hair restraints, no one trained on allergen awareness, sanitizer mounted above the cutting boards. In July 2016, Dumpling Palace has 6 critical violations out of 22 total violations – no shut down. Read through that list and tell me how they do not get suspended? And let’s add Aris BBQ over in Quincy Market as one more example of a location that received 6 critical violations in June 2016. This is very relevant as it entailed hand washing violations and holding temperature, just as Savory did. But there was no suspension.
Finally, the Globe sites a food safety consultant, Lisa Berger, who says that, “Definitely there are more issues with mobiles. There’s more that can go wrong.” The article references her and says ,”the way food trucks move their food between sites, with more people packing and handling the food, creates the potential for more problems.” I would just point out a large operation like Eataly to demonstrate how poor of an argument that is.
I’m not trying to get the restaurants, anyone that knows me knows how often I eat at brick and mortars also. The main point is to raise the question of balance,, which the Boston Globe fails to do.