The City of Garland Code of Ordinances defines a mobile food unit as a vehicle mounted, self or otherwise propelled, self-contained food service operation, designed to be readily movable (including, but not limited to catering trucks, trailers, mobile food preparation vehicles, and push carts) and used to store, prepare, display, serve or sell food. Mobile units must completely retain their mobility at all times. A Mobile Food Unit does not mean a stand or a booth.
Types of Mobile Food Units and fees
Mobile Food Preparation Vehicle: A mobile food unit upon which food is cooked, wrapped, packaged, processed, or portioned for service, sale, or distribution.
Annual fee: $450
Catering Trucks: Any mobile food unit from which approved, prepackaged foods are sold or conveyed in such a manner that no direct food contact results.
Annual fee: $200 ($300 as of 1/1/2022)
Food Carts: A mobile food unit which is not motorized and which is propelled only by the operator, designed and intended for the sale of certain prepackaged foods and precooked linked products, and serviced from another location.
Annual fee: $100 ($150 as of 1/1/2022), unless the cart is owned and operated by a fully permitted establishment with the City of Garland, in which only a $50 fee is required.
*The food cart program has been discontinued. Only currently permitted carts are allowed to operate. No transfers or new carts are being permitted at this time.
Schedule of Stops / Servicing Agreement
Fixed Location Approach: The nature of a mobile food preparation vehicle allows for the flexibility of servicing areas. Operators must have written permission to convey food from their mobile food units. Written permission must be from the actual property owner or property management service, not an active tenant.
Mobile Vending / Events Approach: Whether your business uses an events-only model or a daily operation approach, each mobile food preparation vehicle is required by the Texas Food Establishment Rules Section 228.230 (s) as amended by Garland Code of Ordinance 22.26 to provide an updated route sheet, also known as a schedule of stops, at least once quarterly so our department can properly inspect and respond to complaints. Feel free to use this template to report your planned stops.
Central Preparation Facility
Section 228.230 (e)(2) of The Texas Food Establishment Rules as amended by Garland Code of Ordinances 22.26 requires all mobile food units to operate from a central preparation facility. These were once referred to as "commissaries", but the terminology was updated with the most recent version of the Texas Food Establishment Rules (2015).
Section 228.230 (v) of The Texas Food Establishment Rules as amended by Garland Code of Ordinances 22.26 lists the requirements of a central preparation facility.
The following is a list of central preparation facilities known to the City of Garland Health Department at this time. This list is not exhaustive and does not constitute a recommendation from the City of Garland.
An initial inspection of the unit is required prior to issuing a permit. This is the first step in obtaining a permit to operate and can be scheduled by calling our office to setup an appointment. During this inspection, the mobile food coordinator will review the construction and operational readiness of the unit and provide a list of requirements which must be completed prior to permit issuance. The inspection includes a review of all required supporting documentation.
After permitting, all units will receive 1 to 2 routine health inspections per year in accordance with current ordinance and policy. All units are also subject to complaint inspections.