Food Truck Requirements in Connecticut

Can You Sell Food and Beverage out of a Truck in Connecticut?

Yes, you can sell food and beverages out of a truck in Connecticut. However, you must obtain a permit from the Department of Public Health before doing so. The permit will require you to meet certain health and safety regulations.

What is the Food Truck Law in Connecticut?

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has developed the following regulations for food trucks operating in Connecticut.

1. A Food Truck must be registered with the Department of Consumer Protection before operating in Connecticut.
2. Food Truck operators must have a valid Food Service Establishment permit from the local health department and must meet all health code requirements.
3. Food Trucks must also obtain a variance from the local zoning board of appeals in order to operate in a given municipality.
4. All foods prepared or sold on-site must meet all applicable CT state food safety regulations.
5. All foods must be from an approved source and must be labeled with nutritional information, including all ingredients and allergens, as applicable.
6. All employees of a Food Truck must receive food safety training and demonstrate knowledge of safe food handling practices.
7. Food Trucks may only operate from designated areas or parking lots that are approved by the local zoning board of appeals and which are located at least 200 feet from any residential zone boundary or school building.
8. All Food Trucks must remain mobile and cannot remain parked for more than two hours in any one location.
9. Each Food Truck must have adequate, clean potable water for handwashing and food preparation, a three bay sink, and an approved waste disposal system with an enclosed grease trap or other approved device to capture grease and other liquid waste before it enters the public sewer system.
10. No open flames, pyrotechnics or fireworks are allowed within 20 feet of a Food Truck.

What is Required on a Food Label for Food Truck Food in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, food trucks must adhere to the same labeling standards as restaurants and other food service establishments, as outlined in the CT General Statutes, Chapter 420. Food labels must include the following information:

1. Common name of the food
2. Net weight or measure of the food
3. Ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight
4. Allergenic ingredients
5. Nutrition facts panel
6. Name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor
7. Date when the food was manufactured or packed
8. A statement declaring that the product is not intended for sale to consumers if it is not packaged for sale
9. A statement indicating that the product is intended for immediate consumption or for heating before consumption
10. Food safety warnings as required by regulation
11. Any other information required by regulations

Are Foods Sold out of a Food Truck Taxable in Connecticut?

Yes, foods sold out of a food truck are taxable in Connecticut. Food prepared and sold from food trucks are considered prepared food and must be taxed at 6.35%. Prepared food includes any food sold in a heated state or heated by the seller, any cold food that is combined by the seller to make a meal, and any food that is altered by the seller, such as adding ingredients.

What Permits do You Need for a Food Truck in Connecticut?

The permits and licenses required to operate a food truck in Connecticut vary depending on the city and town where the truck is being operated, so it is best to check with your local municipality for specific requirements. Generally, most food truck operators in Connecticut need to obtain a state sales tax permit, a business tax registration certificate, a food establishment permit from the Department of Public Health, as well as a Certificate of Permit or License from the local fire marshal. In addition, most food truck operators will also need to obtain a zoning permit from their local zoning board in addition to any parking permits for areas they plan to operate.

Do You Need a Vehicle Inspection for Food Trucks in Connecticut?

Yes, all food trucks in Connecticut are required to have a vehicle inspection before they can be licensed and operated. The inspection will check the safety and structural condition of the truck, as well as the fire suppression system to ensure that it meets state and local requirements.

Do You Need to Establish a Business Entity to Sell Food out of a Food Truck in Connecticut?

Yes. In Connecticut, anyone who wants to sell food from a food truck must register as a business entity such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Once the business is registered, the food truck must obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate legally.

Can Food Trucks Serve Alcohol in Connecticut?

No. Food trucks are not permitted to serve alcohol in Connecticut.

Do I Need a Fire Suppression System in My Food Truck in ?Connecticut?

Yes. According to the Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection, food truck vendors are required to install fire suppression systems. The system must meet the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 17A, which includes a hood-mounted fire suppression system with a manual pull station, an automatic shutoff valve, and a wet chemical agent.

Does a Food Truck Need a Food Handlers License in Connecticut?

Yes, food truck operators in Connecticut must obtain a Food Service Establishment License from the local health department. This license requires the completion of a food handler’s certification program as well as an inspection of the truck and its operations.

How Much does it Cost to Obtain a Food Safety License or Certification in Connecticut?

The cost for a food safety license or certification in Connecticut depends on the type of license or certification needed. For example, a ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification typically costs around $175, while a Connecticut Retail Food Establishment Permit may cost up to $700. It is best to contact your local health department for specific information about the cost of licensing and certification for your particular needs.

How Much does it Cost to Start a Food Truck in Connecticut?

The cost to start a food truck in Connecticut depends on several factors, including the type of truck you choose, the equipment and supplies you need, and your business plan. Generally, the estimated cost to start a food truck in Connecticut is around $50,000 to $75,000.

Who Regulates Food Safety in Connecticut?

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is responsible for regulating food safety in Connecticut. The department is responsible for monitoring food establishments, issuing permits, and responding to foodborne illness complaints.

How Long Does a Food Handlers License Last in Connecticut?

A Food Handlers License in Connecticut is valid for three years from the date of issue.

What are the Penalties for Selling Food without a Permit in Connecticut?

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) enforces the laws related to selling food without a permit, which can result in civil and criminal penalties. Civil penalties for operating a food service without a permit can include fines of up to $1,000 per day for each day the violation exists and/or revocation of permits. Criminal penalties for operating a food service without a permit can include fines up to $1,000 or up to one year in prison, or both.