Food Trucks and Push Carts

Licensing

A retail food license from the health department is required annually for mobile food trucks, trailers, and pushcarts. A retail food license always expires on December 31 regardless of when the license was issued and must be renewed each year if you will be operating. If you operate without a retail food establishment license, you may be subject to fines. 

Before a mobile truck, trailer or pushcart can be licensed to sell food and inspected, you must:

  • Submit a Mobile Unit Plan Review form if your trailer or truck has not been licensed in Arapahoe County in the past.
  • Call 303-795-HLTH to schedule an inspection if your truck, trailer or pushcart has been licensed in Arapahoe County in the past.
  • Be sure the unit has been identified with the trade name and telephone number of the owner/operator on two sides of the unit. You must do this before the drive the mobile truck or transport the trailer. The name should be at least three inches high with at least 3/8” brush strokes. The color of the letters or numerals needs to be a contrasting color to that of the unit’s exterior paint.
  • Ensure that you have the following:
    • Food probe thermometer capable of reading between 0°F–220°F
    • Refrigerator/hot box thermometer
    • Hot and cold running water in all sinks 
    • Sanitizer test strips (chlorine or quaternary ammonium)
    • Hand soap and disposable paper towels
  • Make sure all of the following are operational before inspection (if applicable):
    • Refrigeration units and steam tables (if your vehicle has that type of equipment). 
    • Cold temperatures kept at 41ºF or below and hot temperatures kept at 135ºF or above. 
    • Filled potable water reservoir 
    • Available hot water at the hand sink and three compartment sink (if available). 
  • Bring copies of the following:
  • Bring a check or money order made out to Arapahoe County Public Health for the food service licensing fee.

Mobile Inspection Checklist

  • Original State Sales Tax License (Colorado Department of Revenue, 1375 Sherman Street, Denver, CO 80261- (303) 238-7378 or Colorado Department of Revenue website)
  • Commissary Agreement (commissary must be located within Arapahoe County)
  • Lettering 3-inches high and 3/8-inch wide with the name and phone number on two sides
  • Food probe thermometer capable of reading between 0°F–220°F
  • Refrigerator/hot box thermometer
  • Hot and cold running water in all sinks
  • Written menu
  • Sanitizer test strips (chlorine or quaternary ammonium)
  • Hand soap and disposable paper towels
  • Affidavit of Employee Restroom Availability (if regularly operating for extended times in a fixed location)

Types of Mobile Food Establishments

Food trucks and trailers

A retail food establishment that is a wheeled vehicle or trailer that is readily moveable and designed for the service of food from the interior of the unit that is intended to physically report to and operate from a commercial commissary kitchen for servicing, restocking, and maintenance each operating day.

Push carts

A retail food establishment that is a non-motorized, unit designed so foods are served from the exterior of the unit and require very little preparation, such as hot dogs. Push carts are intended to physically report to and operate from a commercial commissary kitchen for servicing, restocking and maintenance each operating day.

Commissary

An approved facility for preparation of various food items, storage of all supplies, and for all cleaning or servicing operations. The mobile retail food establishment or pushcart must report to this location daily for supplies, cleaning, and/or servicing.

If the facility is not owned by the vendor, the vendor must provide a completed Commissary Agreement.

The commissary must be located Arapahoe County. A commissary located in Denver may be accepted, provided that the mobile unit operator is already in possession of a mobile retail food license issued by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (copies of these licenses must be submitted with the Arapahoe County Commissary Agreement).

Contact Us

  1. Environmental Health


    Email Environmental Health

    Altura Plaza
    15400 E. 14th Pl., Suite 115
    Aurora, CO 80011

    Willow
    6162 S. Willow Dr., Suite 100
    Greenwood Village, CO 80111

    Phone: 303-795-HLTH (4584)