Mobile Food Facilities (MFF)


Overview

The Mobile Food Program within Alameda County consists of over eight hundred facilities including trucks, trailers, bicycles and other various types of vehicles that meet the requirements of the California Retail Food Code (CalCode).

The goal of the program is to ensure that food served from a permitted mobile food facility is safe for public consumption. This is achieved by providing food safety education and field inspections during the facility operating hours.  The Department offers a free informational session for new and potential mobile food vendors. 

Do you have questions about starting a mobile food or temporary food business?  Then you are invited to our mobile and temporary food business information session.  Click here for more information.

A MFF wanting to renew the Alameda County permit to operate must pay your invoice either in person, by mail or on line, submit the following documentation and schedule a renewal appointment.  See application for instructions

MFF wanting to apply for an Alameda County Environmental Health permit for the first time and are currently permitted in another county in California, must submit the following documentation.  See application for instructions.

MFF that have never been permitted in California must complete the requirements for mobile food plan check form and submit the plans to this department for review and approval.  The plans must be in accordance to the requirements listed below.


Fee Exemption Form for Sole Proprietor Veterans


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

An MFF is a truck, trailer, cart, push cart or other vehicle that meets California Retail Food Code (CalCode) requirements and operates in conjunction with an approved commissary or food facility.  Types of activities conducted on an MFF include: food preparation, holding, storing, assembling and retail sales direct to a customer.

A commissary is a facility approved by this department to provide required services for mobile food facilities, mobile support units, or vending machines.  At the commissary, food is prepared or packaged, utensils are cleaned and sanitized, liquid waste and refuse are properly disposed and potable water is obtained. 

Yes.  CalCode Section 114381 states a mobile food facility shall not be open for business in California without a valid permit.

Complete an MFF Application to start the permitting process. Incomplete applications will be returned to applicant.

If your MFF is not currently permitted in any county in California, or you wish to have one built, please work with a professional builder who has knowledge of CALCODE and with California State Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) requirements.  Resources for you and your builder are found at the link below:  


Plans shall be submitted according to the requirements listed at this link:

 
A plan check fee will apply. Please see our fee schedule.

All MFF’s must comply with all current CALCODE and HCD requirements.  See resources from the question above.  You may also request a consultation with an inspector.   Current hourly rates will apply.  Contact 510-567-6700 to begin the consult process.
Yes. For the most current information, contact the city or cities where you plan to operate. Contact the State Franchise Tax Board to determine if a seller’s permit will be required.

Contact your local municipality.  Each city or unincorporated community may have different regulations. 

You may also apply to participate in community events.  You will have to contact the event sponsor directly.

Yes.  Permits are not transferable between MFF’s.

Yes. Unless your MFF menu is solely comprised of pre-packaged food.  You may find food safety certification providers at this link

ANSI-CFP Accreditation Program (Accredited)

 

Yes. You may find food handler card providers at this link

Food Handler Certificates

There are essentially two types of inspections conducted on mobile food facilities.

1.    Annual Permit Renewal Inspection. Conducted when you apply for a new permit or renew an existing permit. This inspection covers all equipment on your MFF and checks that you have all required licenses, certifications and documentation required by all agencies related to your type of business. Food safety knowledge will also be reviewed during this inspection.  The MFF inspection is conducted at the office of the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health.

2.   Operational Inspection. Conducted "in the field" while you are operating. This inspection determines compliance with food safety requirements.  A grading placard will be posted in public view on your MFF at the conclusion of the inspection. DEH also confirms whether your permit is current and displayed properly.