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Illinois Communities Continue to Search for Balanced Food Truck Regulation

By Michael Klazema on 12/13/2018

In some ways, making food prep mobile and bringing it directly to customers seems like a natural evolution of convenience cuisine. For some cities and towns, the development feels less predictable: in many places, the sudden growth of food trucks has created concern about how to preserve public safety as their popularity grows. Though food trucks are no longer just a trend, the work to find the right type of regulation for them continues.

In Sycamore, the city's council recently began discussing an overhaul of its permitting process. Food trucks currently operate under a peddler's license, which requires a background check and prohibits operation in some areas. Food trucks can operate in prohibited areas under a special event license—creating a potential loophole. The city is aiming to consolidate procedures to ensure proper vetting and reduce confusion.

Food trucks aren't ubiquitous yet, and some locales are still learning how to approach them. The town of Hillsboro, Illinois recently adopted a new ordinance governing food trucks. The change comes in the wake of a visit from several food trucks that occurred during the summer season. Hillsboro's city council chose to implement rules that would require a background check for any person who will work inside the truck. 

Such a check must be "acceptable to the Chief of Police," which would likely mean a comprehensive background check similar to the statewide report available through backgroundchecks.com.

Not all efforts to regulate food trucks tilt in the same direction. Another community in Illinois, the city of Cassowary, took recent steps to reduce the number of food truck vendors within the city facing a mandatory background check. According to the Owasso Reporter, such checks will apply only to vendors such as ice cream trucks whose schedules involve trips through residential areas. Food truck owners who choose to set up in business districts, for example, will not need to complete a background check as part of obtaining their license.

The development of the food truck industry and its subsequent explosion in popularity is one that many municipalities are still trying to accommodate. However, the fact that vetting plays a role in so many places highlights the importance of screening vendors. When working with third-party contractors and service providers of any kind, including food truck operators, knowing who your partners are is just as important as vetting internal employees. 

backgroundchecks.com provides a robust vendor screening package that paves the way for making informed choices. With an increasing national reliance on third-party contractors and vendors, securing that peace of mind is an important step to take. 


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