Foodservice Equipment Reports

Legal Streetfood (Via Pushcarts) To Debut In Chicago

In 2012, after years of legal wrangling and legislative baby steps, Chicago opened its streets—in a highly regulated manner—to food trucks. Food carts were left out of the ordinance, but last week, the city decided it was ready for those vendors. As with food trucks, the estimated 1,500 food carts will be regulated and made to buy business licenses. The bonanza might not be in street food for Chicagoans, but in a net payoff of more than $8 million annually in license fees and sales tax for the financially strapped city.

City council aldermen who cited health concerns as their point of opposition were appeased by regulations that any food served on carts would have to be prepared in licensed commercial kitchens approved by the health department. Items also would have to be fully wrapped, as the ordinance restricts any preparation of food on carts, even using a knife. The carts would have to comply with approved ways to heat or chill food and be serviced and cleaned in a commissary. While on the streets, they would have to move along to another location at least once every two hours.

The ordinance applies to non-motorized carts. Read it in full here.

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