Getting started with your local Health Department 

A generalized, easy-to-read overview of health standards for operating a hot dog cart can be found in the chapter "Operations and Maintenance" of this Business Manual. The "Health and Safety" section of this Business Manual provides more information. Keeping up with and adhering to local health guidelines represents a significant component of the hotdog cart's daily operations. The Operating Guidelines on our website also include the majority of these data. Nevertheless, each county will need to determine its own specific requirements before a vending cart can be approved. On a hotdog cart, you can serve a variety of foods and there can be several sinks.

You can find a lot of useful information on the internet for contractors of hot dog stands. The links in this section will help you determine the local codes, contact the local health department, or get any permits you may need. We selected websites that provided excellent information about the hot dog cart business in an easily understandable, well-organized format.

As a food service merchant, you will encounter a confusing maze of information. The information provided here will assist you in navigating it.

Your region has specific guidelines regarding food cart vendors, including the food items you are permitted to sell and the regulations and health guidelines that apply to the food business you are in. You should research these guidelines. You may even be required to take a culinary safety course or take a food preparation course to really understand the risks involved.

These sites will provide information on federal and state laws regarding things such as personal hygiene, environmental sanitation requirements, and food safety.

These authorities process applications for licenses, train food cart vendors, and inspect their equipment, among other things.

Websites to help you operate your Hot Dog Stands in the USA:

In this website you can find lists of counties health departments in every state in the United States.

There is a lot of information on this site! Go to the A to Z index first. Then go to the section that starts with "S". Access is provided to all government health agencies and departments.

One more ambitious project. Quite a bit of information. Click the icon that reads "Federal and State Gov't Agencies" to access these agencies. Once you have done that, scroll down to the “State and Local Government Agencies” section. There may be a comprehensive list of contacts on the page titled "Overall Listing of State, County, and Territory Listings" for people living in states that aren't listed.

There are 14 languages in which food service personnel can find detailed information.

A publication like this one will provide you with useful information regarding meat storage and safe food handling, as well as detailed background information on the meat items you will be selling. Enter "hot dog" in the search box on the "home page" to get the results you seek.

Information can also be found on another important website.

Drop down the menu and select "Food Safety". Other relevant links are located there.

There is some excellent information on food safety at the Illinois Health Department website, including downloadable charts on food temperature standards.

For Canadian Hot Dog Stand Operators

Government of Canada (Health Canada) will provide the health information. Information is provided in both English and French.

To get to “F” in the alphabetical index, click on “A-Z”. After selecting "Food Safety," select "Safe Food Handling."

Here you can find information regarding the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). There are two languages available.

Find your local food inspection authority in any part of Canada with the following directions: Select "Food", then select "Retail Food", then select "Information for Restauranteurs", and then select "Local Inspection Authority".

For "Food Safety Tips", click on "F" under the A-Z Index. Information about barbecue can also be found under "Barbecue".

Hot dog cart operators will find some excellent plain language tips in this article. From the dropdown menu, select "Public Health." Then navigate to "A-Z Index." Following that, you will find information about the HotDog Card Requirements. Excellent information!

Click on "Health" below "Living in Toronto". You can search for topics alphabetically. Click here for more information on hot dog cart requirements. I find the information presented extremely helpful.