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Mobile Food Unit FAQ

  1. County Seal
  2. Craven County Health Department

    Mobile Food Unit FAQ

  3. What is the process for obtaining a Permit?
    • To have an operation permit for a mobile food unit (MFU), you must have a commissary,  which is permitted restaurant that allows the MFU to use their facility to store and prepare food, store supplies, and allow the discarding of gray water.
      • The MFU is required to report the commissary every day the MFU is in operation. 
    • Next you will need to submit an application ($75) to the Health Department for review. In this application you will be required to provide plans and specifications for your unit. 
    • Once the plans have been approved and your unit is ready for operation, you will need to meet with an Environmental Health Specialist at your commissary with your unit for inspection and permitting. The unit must be fully functional with all systems operating and comply with the requirements in section .2600 and the 2017 North Carolina Food Code Manual before you can get your permit.
  4. What are the specific requirements/regulations for MFUs?
    • MFU regulations can be found in the .2600 rules as well as the 2017 North Carolina Food Code Manual. 
    • The following are a list of requirements, but it cannot address all the variations found in mobile food service units since the design of each mobile unit must support the menus and the intended use.
  5. Commissary Regulations
    • The MFU must operate in conjunction with an approved permitted restaurant, food stand or commissary. 
    • The MFU must report to the restaurant each day of operation for cleaning, servicing, and supplies. Failure to comply with this rule will lead to permit suspension or revocation.
    • The commissary must provide labeled space for refrigeration, food supplies and space for the storage of paper products and other dry goods necessary for the operation of the MFU.
  6. Design Regulations
    • At least a single compartment utensil washing sink shall be provided. The sink must be large enough to submerge the largest utensil used and must be equipped with drain boards that are an integral part of the sink and must also have splash back protection. The sink must comply with NSF standards.
    • A handwashing sink with hot and cold water, combination faucet, soap, and single service towels shall be provided 
    • The MFU must be equipped with screens or fans for protection against flies and other flying insects.
    • Commercial equipment must be provided for maintaining foods at the proper temperature.
      • Cold foods must be kept below 41 degrees F. and hot foods must be held above 135 °F
      • A MFU operating at night must provide 50 foot candles of light in all food areas
  7. Potable Water Requirements
    • The MFU must have a labelled container to store the freshwater and wastewater hoses. This container must be kept clean and for that hose only. A MFU must have a freshwater system under pressure. A food grade hose must be provided for filling the freshwater tank. This hose cannot be used for any other purpose and must be kept sanitized. The clean water must be obtained from the commissary from the approved protected location.
    • The clean water inlet must be constructed to prevent contamination of the inlet.
    • A hot water heater must provide adequate hot water for the fixtures in the MFU.
  8. Wastewater Requirements
    • The MFU must be equipped with a wastewater holding tank that is at least 15 percent larger than the freshwater tank. The hose connection on the wastewater tank must be a different size or type than on the freshwater tank.
    • The wastewater connection must be located lower than the freshwater inlet to preclude contamination of the potable water system.
  9. Craven County Health Department | 2818 Neuse Boulevard | P.O. Drawer 12610 New Bern, NC 28561

    | Phone: (252) 636-4936 | Fax: (252)636-1474 | 

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