Mobile Food Trucks / Carts

Guidelines for Mobile Food Vendors

  • Licensing Requirements
  • Valid Driver's License
  • Valid Business License
  • Current License Plates
  • Current Vehicle Inspection Sticker/Paperwork
  • Current State Inspection
  • Current Vehicle Insurance
  • Chesapeake Fire Marshal Inspection Sticker
  • Health Inspection

Fire Protection Systems

  • Fire Suppression Systems shall comply with the appropriate provisions of the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (VSFPC) Section 319.1 through 319.11.
  • All Mobile Food Trucks that have any commercial cooking equipment that utilizes open flames or produces grease-laden vapors shall be protected by automatic fire extinguishing systems in accordance with VSFPC Section 904.3.
  • All fire extinguishing systems shall be inspected by a certified fire protection company every 12 months. Records shall be maintained as required in the VSFPC.
  • Cooking equipment that produces grease-laden vapors shall be provided with a kitchen exhaust hood in accordance with NFPA 96, Annex B.
  • Ventilation Control systems shall be appropriate for the cooking operations conducted. Ventilation systems shall be capable of exhausting all byproducts of cooking operations. The hood must be designed to adequately collect and exhaust fumes, smoke, and vapors from the area over which it is installed. The exhaust system, including hood, grease-removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances, shall be inspected and cleaned in accordance with the VSPFC Chapter 6.
  • Fire extinguishers are required for all mobile food vendor operations in accordance with VSFPC Section 904.12.5. All fire extinguishers shall be maintained and inspected on an annual basis. A fire extinguisher (minimum size of 2A 10 BC) will be required in addition to any class K extinguisher. If cooking operations create grease-laden vapors, operators shall have and maintain a Class K portable fire extinguisher.

Hazardous Materials & Storage of Flammables

Cooking oil storage tanks within mobile food preparation vehicles shall comply with the VSFPC Section 319.8.1 through 319.8.5. Cooking oil storage containers within mobile food preparation vehicles shall have a minimum aggregate area volume not to exceed 120 gallons. The storage and use of Flammable Liquids shall be in accordance with any applicable regulations under the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code Chapter 50.

Metallic cooking oil storage tanks shall be listed in accordance with UL 142 or UL 80 and installed per manufacturer's instructions. Nonmetallic tanks shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and listed for use with cooking oils with a capacity not to exceed 200 gallons per tank.

Hazardous materials or liquids shall be disposed of in the proper manner. They shall not be released into any sewer, storm drain, ditch, drainage canal, creek, stream, river, lake or tidal water or on the ground, sidewalk, street, highway or into the atmosphere.

Propane & Natural Gas Handling Requirements

  • Gas cooking appliances shall be secured in place and connected to fuel supply piping with approved ANSI Z21.69/CSA 6.16 connectors. Installation shall be in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Construction and modifications of the fuel system including hoses shall be proven free of leaks by performing a pressure test in accordance with NFPA 58.
  • A water and soap solution shall be applied to all connections manipulated during the replacement of fuel and observed for evidence of gas leakage.
  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas) systems used for cooking appliances shall comply with NFPA 58, Chapter 61, and Sections 319.9.1 through 319.9.5 of the VSFPC.
  • The maximum aggregate capacity of LP-gas containers transported on the vehicle and used to fuel cooking shall not exceed 200 lbs.
  • LP-gas containers shall be securely mounted and restrained to prevent movement.
  • A listed LP-gas alarm shall be installed with the vehicle in the vicinity of LP-gas system components.
  • Compressed natural gas systems used to fuel cooking appliances shall comply with the VSFPC Section  319.10.1 through 319.10.4.
  • Propane and natural gas tanks shall be shut off while the mobile food vehicle is in motion, unattended, and/or in overnight storage.
  • CNG containers shall be securely mounted and restrained to prevent movement. Containers shall not be installed in locations subject to direct vehicle impact.
  • CNG containers and systems used to supply fuel for cooking shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 52.
  • A listed methane gas alarm shall be installed within the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Mounting and placement of propane and natural gas tanks. The mounting of propane and natural gas tanks must withstand an impact equal to four times the weight of the filled propane or natural gas container according to NFPA 58-6.23.3.4. Tanks must be secure (NFPA 58-5.2.4) and conform with NFPA standards relating to the safe mounting of tanks as described in NFPA 58-6.23.3.3.
  • Outside mounted in a semi-enclosed cabinet, with vents at the top and bottom to facilitate the diffusion of vapors, vapor-tight to the interior of the vehicle, with a weather-protected regulator and a leak indicator as described in NFPA 1192-6.4.8.
  • Outside mounted, secured on top and bottom and stabilized (e.g. with a strap), vapor-tight to the interior of the vehicle, mounted no less than 28 inches above the ground with a weather-protected regulator.
  • Chassis mounted, according to NFPA 58-6.23.3.4

Inspections

  • The Fire Official is authorized to conduct such inspections as deemed necessary to determine the extent of compliance with the provisions of the Code.
  • Vendors shall comply with any applicable City of Chesapeake Permits and Fees. The Fire Marshal's Office requires a Mobile Food Service Vendor inspection sticker.
  • Once the inspection is completed on a portable food platform an inspection sticker will be issued. Any Changes to items, processes, storage, or configuration within the scope of the Fire Inspection must be approved by the Fire Marshal to maintain the validity of the inspection sticker.