Food truck owners rejoice over clarifications on safety rules

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 6:03 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A clarification on safety regulations from Watertown city officials is causing food truck owners to rejoice.

For the past 13 years, Doug Lamont and his wife have owned and operated LaMont’s Food Fair, frequently making appearances at Watertown’s weekly farmers market.

In May he was told that he’d have to retrofit his truck with a $15,000 ANSEL fire suppression system. Well, according to city officials, that’s no longer the case and he couldn’t be happier.

“I love it. I think it’s the best thing since bread and butter,” said Lamont.

The clarification came in an email sent out by state officials on July 1, stating that all food trucks existing prior to May 12, 2020, would be grandfathered into the safety regulations.

Things are different for newcomers like the Pink Taco. To keep in line with the rules, the owner had to buy a new vehicle instead of a used one she’d been eyeing.

“A used one would’ve been cheaper but because of what I was told needed to be in here, I went with that option,” said Joy Baker, food truck owner.

Johnny D’s has been cooking food behind the truck for the past 20 years, so the new regulations haven’t been much of a bother. That said, they have made restaurant owner David Bartlett reconsider some future plans.

For a while, Bartlett had planned to start up an additional food truck at Swan Bay Resort.

“I thought about cooking in it but I really didn’t want to put an ANSEL system in to comply with any regulations so we just decided to do cold desserts. Pies and things of that nature,” he said.

With many different food trucks at the farmers market, each one has a different story to tell.

While some plans had to be altered to meet new guidelines, many vendors are breathing a sigh of relief.

Copyright 2022 WWNY. All rights reserved.