Specific Information for Mobile Food Units (MFU)

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  • Potable water system under pressure is required. Water heating ability is required, and hot and cold water is required for food preparation, utensil cleaning, and handwashing.
  • At least one hand sink is required. This hand sink shall only be used for handwashing. 
  • At least a 1-compartment warewashing sink is required, and shall at least be deep enough to wash, rinse, and sanitize all utensils. Splashback protection is also required to adjacent walls and ceilings that may be subject to splash. 
  • Liquid waste shall not be discharged while the vehicle is in motion. Waste tanks must have a shut-off valve and a cap to prevent wastewater discharge at all times. 
  • Water tanks shall meet approved design criteria that are: safe; durable, corrosion-resistant, and nonabsorbent; surface that is smooth and easily cleanable.
  • Water tanks shall be enclosed from the filling inlet to the discharge outlet, and sloped to an outlet that allows complete drainage of the tank.
  • If the water tank is equipped with an access port, the access port shall be flanged upward at least one-half inch, and equipped with a port cover assembly containing a gasket and secured device cover, and flanged to overlap the opening and sloped to drain.
  • Water tank inlets and outlets shall be sloped to drain, and be positioned to protect from contaminants. 
  • A water inlet, outlet, and hose shall be protected by a cap and keeper chain, closed cabinet, closed storage tube, or other approved protective cover.
  • A water tank’s inlet shall be at least three-fourths inch ID (inner diameter) or less, and provided with a hose connection with a size or type that prevents its use for any other purpose.
  • Backflow prevention shall be installed so that contamination is prevented to the water tank, pump, and water hoses. 
  • The commissary shall have a designated servicing area. This ensures the commissary can accommodate the needs of a mobile food unit without undue burden on the facility, and to ensure the servicing area does not impede upon other properties or jurisdiction requirements. 
  • Portable coolers cannot be used for permanent food storage for foods that require holding at 41°F or less, or for frozen foods. 
  • Cambros, ice baths, and other temporary hold or cold holding methods can only be used for temporarily hot or cold holding foods. These equipment pieces are only for temporary storage, and thus will not be approved for permanent food storage.


  • Floor, walls and ceiling coverings, coatings, and finishes shall be smooth, easily cleanable, and non-absorbent. Attachments, such as wall fans, light fixtures, ventilation system components, and others shall also meet this requirement.
  • Gaps between floors, walls, and ceilings shall be sealed. This includes areas between wall or ceiling coverings, floor and wall junctures, etc. This is usually accomplished using coving strips, corner pieces, trim molding, caulk, or other methods. 
  • Exposed wood framing used in construction shall be treated to make the wood nonabsorbent in areas where it may be subject to moisture. This occurs usually in areas around sink framing, water tanks, or supports for shelving.  
  • Utility lines, such as electrical and plumbing lines, will need to be concealed to the greatest extent possible. When designing the layout, consider where electrical equipment will be used that prevents electrical cables from being needlessly exposed or loosely hanging. If these lines are exposed, they should be installed in a way that still allows adequate cleaning.
  • Lighting must meet certain requirements at locations such as sinks, food preparation tables, and cooking areas, in regards to brightness. This light must be provided in a way that illuminates the areas as you would be working at them. Thus, when planning the lighting needed, plan to have light directly above a sink, table, grill, preparation cooler, etc. This light must meet minimum requirements as if you are standing and working at these locations. Lighting must also have shatter-resistance, so consider this when selecting bulbs or fixtures. 
    1. Minimum light intensity requirements:
      • 50 foot-candles (1 lumen/ft2) at surface where food is handled or cooked, or when working with utensils or equipment where safety is a factor;
      • 20 foot-candles (1 lumen/ft2) at handwashing and dishwashing areas, equipment and utensil storage, and toilet room (if installed), and inside refrigerators;
      • 10 foot-candles (1 lumen/ft2) at dry food storage and other areas.
  • Construction and design must include protection of food, drink, utensils, and equipment from exposure to insects, dust, and other contamination. If food or griddles are exposed to weather or outdoors, then protection shall be offered by a sneeze guard or box that covers the front, top, and ends, and only exposes as much as necessary that allows handling or serving.
  • Electricity will need to be provided by a generator, direct connection to local power system, or other approved method. Careful consideration should be considered regarding the generator chosen, and whether or not it can supply the power needed to support the electrical appliances installed. This includes powering refrigerators, freezers, pumps, heating and air conditioning, hood systems, and cooking equipment, lights, and other appliances.  If the wattage of all the electrical appliances is the same or greater than the chosen generator, then you will need to either increase the size (wattage) of the generator, or decrease the number of appliances. Generators should never be run at maximum wattage for long time periods. Equipment that needs startup power may also consume more watts during initial startup, which should be considered when sizing the generator. Also consider the volt requirement needed, as some equipment may need 240V connections versus 120V connections, which will consume more power.