Food Truck Requirements in Tennessee

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

Yes, you can sell food and beverage out of a truck in Tennessee. You must obtain a mobile food-service vehicle (MFSV) permit from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The permit allows the sale of prepackaged, non-potentially hazardous items such as pre-made sandwiches, salads, chips, candy bars, etc. If you plan to sell potentially hazardous items such as hot dogs, pizza, or tacos, you must obtain a retail food license from the local county health department.

What is the Food Truck Law in Tennessee?

The food truck law in Tennessee is governed by the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Food trucks must obtain a permit from the Department of Health in order to operate in Tennessee. The permit is valid for one year and may be renewed annually. The food truck must comply with all local regulations, including health and safety inspections, as well as any applicable zoning laws. Additionally, food trucks must have liability insurance in order to operate in Tennessee.

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

In Tennessee, a food truck must display a clearly visible sign that lists the following information:

1. The name of the business and the permit number

2. The ingredients of each food item

3. Any food allergy warnings needed

4. Preparation and storage instructions

5. The expiration date or “sell by” date

6. The business address or other contact information.

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

Yes, food sold from a food truck in Tennessee is subject to Tennessee state sales tax.

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

In Tennessee, food trucks are regulated by the local health department. You will need to contact your local county health department for the specific permits and requirements for operating a food truck in your area. Generally, food trucks in Tennessee must obtain a food service establishment permit, a mobile food unit permit, a retail food establishment permit, and any other necessary permits or licenses required by the local health department. Additionally, you will likely need to obtain a business license from the state or city in which you plan to operate the truck.

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

Yes, in Tennessee, all food trucks operating for business must be inspected by the local health department and have a valid permit before they can begin operations. The inspection process includes an examination of the truck’s structure, equipment, and food handling practices.

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

Yes, you need to establish a business entity to sell food out of a food truck in Tennessee. Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need to register as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole Proprietorship, or Partnership. You will also need to obtain a business license and follow the necessary regulations from the Tennessee Department of Health.

Can Food Trucks Serve Alcohol in Tennessee?

No, food trucks are not allowed to serve alcohol in Tennessee.

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

Yes, you should have a fire suppression system in your food truck in Tennessee. Tennessee requires food trucks to have a fire suppression system in order to keep food safe and protect customers and employees from fires. A fire suppression system will help you meet the requirements of the Tennessee Department of Health and comply with local fire codes as well. Thus, it is important to install a fire suppression system in your food truck in Tennessee to protect yourself and your customers.

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

Yes, if you are serving ready-to-eat food, you will need a Tennessee Food Handlers License. You must complete an approved food safety training course and receive a certificate before you can obtain a food handlers license.

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

The cost to obtain a food safety license or certification in Tennessee varies depending on the type of license or certification that you need. Generally speaking, the costs range from $125 to $250. Additionally, there may be other fees associated with obtaining a license or certification such as training fees, exam fees, and application fees.

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

The cost of starting a food truck in Tennessee will depend largely on the size and complexity of the truck, as well as what type of food you plan to serve. Generally speaking, start-up costs for a food truck can range from $20,000 to $100,000, although some businesses have been able to get started for less. Costs of a food truck can include the purchase or lease of the vehicle, kitchen equipment, permits and licenses, insurance, marketing and advertising, and more.

Who Regulates Food Safety in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, food safety is regulated by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Food Safety.

How Long Does a Food Handlers License Last in Tennessee?

A Food Handlers License in Tennessee does not need to be renewed and is valid for the duration of employment in the food service industry.

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

Selling food without a permit in Tennessee is illegal and carries serious penalties including fines, court costs, and even incarceration. Depending on the amount of food sold, individuals may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Individuals who are convicted of selling food without a permit can face up to 11 months and 29 days of incarceration and up to a $2,500 fine.