Waco food truck owner says Texas State Health regulations are unfair

Posted at 8:12 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 21:21:38-04

Frozen treats are perfect for beating the heat, but local food trucks that sell them are finding it hard to stay in business.

All food trucks in the state of Texas are required by the State Health Department to have a commissary, an outside restaurant that rents its space out to the truck's owner for food preparation.

But owners of certain trucks that are able to operate entirely out of their food truck claim that they don't need the extra restaurant space.

They say the rule creates extra costs and makes selling their product difficult.

Rico's Italian Ice, a Waco food truck, is currently out of business for not having a commissary that does not meet the requirements.

Hector Sotomayor, owner of Rico's Italian Ice, said that the rule should be based on the type of food a vendor sells.

"We all have to do the same thing, we all have to jump through the same loops and hoops," Sotomayor said. "Unfortunately my product: Ice cream, cookies... Things like that are completely different then a taco truck."

David Litke, Waco-McLennan County Environmental Health Manager, said that in the eyes of the Texas State Health Department, all food trucks in the state are held to the same standard as any restaurant.

"It goes back to evaluating each food truck the same way as every restaurant. Each one is evaluated on what their doing and what their trying to provide," Litke said. "The one difference with the food trucks is that a lot of people try to go without the commissary and you just can't do it. It's required."

Sotomayor started the Waco Food Truck Alliance to support local food truck owners.

He hopes to prevent other local vendors from going through the same problems he did.

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