Ask the Mayor: Who Monitors Food Trucks in Maui County?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.
Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Q: Why so many food trucks parked all day long all over the island when the law requires relocation every 30 minutes? Also, can you check the hygiene practices that are required? Cashiers are handling both money and food.
A: Our County Department of Finance, which issues the permits for the trucks to operate on County roadsides, is not able to be everywhere all the time to police the 30-minute limit for the trucks’ “roving permit.” However, if a complaint is made, staff can be dispatched to check for a violation.
As for the hygiene practices, the state Department of Health’s Environmental Health Services Division oversees food sanitation and permits, and its program chief provided the following information:
“All food establishments, including lunch wagons/carts, also known as mobile food establishments, must comply with Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, Title 11-50, Food Safety Code. The code states that all employees handling food must wash their hands when contaminated:
· After touching bare human body parts;
· After using the toilet rooms;
· After caring for or handling service animals or aquatic animals;
· After coughing, sneezing, using handkerchief or disposable tissue, using tobacco, eating or drinking;
· After handling soiled equipment or utensils;
· During food prep, when switching between working with raw foods and working with ready to eat foods;
· Before donning gloves; and
· Other activities that “contaminate the hands.”
All mobile food establishments are also required to have a hand washing sink that is used strictly for hand washing, and must be supplied with soap and paper towels. If the public sees possible violations, they should call our office, Environmental Health, Sanitation Branch, at 984-8230. An inspector will respond within two days to conduct an investigation.