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How are Ice Cream Truck Laws Different from Food Truck?

There are many different ways the regulations and laws of both ice cream trucks and food truck businesses differ in the United States.

At least, ice cream trucks barely make their products within the truck; however, almost all food trucks cook meals inside the truck.

Aside from that, food trucks tend to contain hazardous kitchen equipment with open flames that are prone to accidents and explosions.

To understand how regulations in these two sectors of the mobile food service industry vary, it is imperative you first understand how intricately the worlds of food trucks and ice cream trucks work. While they might seem like two varying concepts, they operate virtually the same way.

Ice cream trucks, most often, are peddler vehicles, bringing pre-packaged ice cream goods, while food trucks feature functional mobile kitchens, making meals from raw ingredients to serve on the spot.

In addition, food trucks are known to require more extensive permits and inspections especially when put in comparison to ice cream trucks.

Food trucks are expected to stay in line with more stringent hygiene standards, conform with detailed food handling practices, and often have to be registered with a commissary – a fixed commercial kitchen location for food preparation, cleaning, and waste disposal.

Ways Ice Cream Truck Laws Differ from Food Truck

There are a good number of ways the regulations and laws guiding ice cream trucks vary from that of food trucks.

Although these laws vary from one city to another, they are designed to see to the safety of patrons, prevent unfair competition with brick-and-mortar restaurants, control traffic, and avoid noise pollution. Nevertheless, below are some key differences to consider:

  1. Licensing and Permits

You have to understand that laws and guidelines that govern the activities of businesses that deliver pre-packaged food are totally different from those that prepare and serve fresh food on the spot from a food truck. While both businesses most definitely require licenses and permits to operate, the licenses they need will vary.

  1. Health and Safety Regulations

Just as it was noted above, what differentiates the two businesses isn’t just the products being offered to patrons, but also the delicate details of health and safety regulations.

Food trucks that make and serve cooked foods are expected to comply with more stringent health and safety regulations when compared to ice cream trucks, which are known to sell pre-packaged, frozen, or non-hazardous products.

  1. Location Restrictions

When trying to understand how ice cream truck laws vary from those of food trucks, it’s important you take into account local regulations and zoning laws. Ice cream trucks and food trucks are known to deal with varying location restrictions.

In a good number of American cities, food trucks are restricted to specific zones or ‘food truck parks’’. They might as well be prohibited from operating in residential areas, unlike ice cream trucks which are known to have more flexible restrictions.

  1. Noise Regulations

This is another aspect where regulations concerning these two sectors differ extensively. Ice cream trucks are known to play music to draw the attention of customers, and there are numerous cities in the United States with vital statuses that regulate noise and safety rules for vehicles that sell different products. Howbeit, food trucks barely possess this noise element.

  1. Product Licensing

In the United States, most ice cream truck operators tend to require specific licenses or agreements with ice cream brands to obtain and sell their products.

However, food truck operators tend to enjoy more flexibility when it comes to sourcing their ingredients and menu items unless they are part of a franchise structure.

  1. Vehicle Requirements

The layout of a food truck will definitely differ from that of an ice cream truck in areas such as freezer compartments as well as the serving windows to accommodate their products.

Food trucks are known to feature varying equipment and this will most often depend on the menu and the meals they offer to patrons.