by Angela C. Erickson
Institute for Justice
June 12, 2014
Policy Analysis
The notion that street food is unsafe is a myth. Street Eats, Safe Eats tests that common, but unsubstantiated claim by reviewing more than 260,000 food-safety inspection reports from seven large American cities. In each of those cities, mobile vendors are covered by the same health codes and inspection regimes as restaurants and other brick-and-mortar businesses, allowing an apples-to-apples comparison. Street Eats, Safe Eats finds that in every city examined—Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Seattle and Washington, D.C.—food trucks and carts did as well as or better than restaurants. The recipe for clean and safe food trucks is simple—inspections. More burdensome regulations proposed in the name of food safety, such as outright bans and limits on when and where mobile vendors may work, do not make street food safer—they just make it harder to get.



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