After your operational permit application is approved, environmental health officers will schedule an appointment to inspect your mobile food unit.
1. After an environmental health officer has reviewed and approved your mobile food vendor operational permit, they’ll schedule a future appointment time to bring in your mobile vending unit for inspection.
2. Inspection appointments are scheduled for 30-minute blocks on Tuesdays and Thursdays only and cover environmental health and fire safety requirements.
Being on time for this appointment is critical. If you miss your appointment time, you will have to reschedule it.
3. On your appointment date, you or a coworker will need to bring the mobile food vending unit to Environmental Health Services. Do not go upstairs to the Environmental Health office.
In the parking lot, follow the signs for mobile food vending inspections. Use your appointment card to check in with the security guard at the entrance of the inspection area. The security guard will show you where to park your mobile food vending unit.
4. If the owner or the responsible party listed on the application can't be present at the inspection, they can send a coworker instead.
However, be aware that if the mobile unit fails inspection, recommended repairs can be detailed and difficult to communicate.
5. Inspections for a new mobile food vending permit require a generator or internal power source to check running hot water and refrigeration. When you renew your permit, your mobile unit will need an inspection, but you won’t need a generator or power source.
If your mobile vending unit has propane, then you need a gas pressure test conducted yearly.
6. If you have an unrestricted Travis County mobile vending permit, you need an additional safety inspection from the Travis County Fire Marshal.
Learn more about Austin and Travis County fire safety inspections.
7. If your mobile food unit passes the inspection, you’ll receive a permit and can start selling immediately.
8. If your mobile food unit does not pass the physical inspection, an environmental health officer, fire marshal, or both will tell you what issues you need to resolve and how to resolve them.
Then the person who signed for the inspection will need to go to the office on the second floor to schedule a re-inspection. You can also come back later to reschedule.
Changes or Upgrades to Your Mobile Unit
If you make structural changes or upgrades to the sink, water system, or propane lines in your mobile unit, you will need to get it inspected again. In general, changing or relocating the same features of your mobile unit, such as equipment, appliances, or storage, does not require a new inspection. If you’re not sure, call the Environmental Health office to ask. If you can, we recommend timing any upgrades that require a new inspection with your annual permit renewal.