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Toronto Public Health Requirements for
Hot Dog Carts

(Street Food Vending Cart)

Before your hot dog cart can be put to use, it must meet the requirements of the Ontario Food Premises Regulation 562/90. If your cart has never been licensed, phone the Public Health Department to make an appointment to have your cart inspected. If you already have a license, then a Public Health Inspector will periodically check that your hot dog cart is equipped and operated according to the regulations.

City of Toronto License
After you get your City of Toronto License number, attach it firmly in a noticeable place on the hot dog cart. This enables Inspectors to distinguish your cart from another.

Type of food
Food preparation must be limited to the reheating of precooked meat products in the form of wieners or similar sausage products to be served on a bun. Hazardous raw meats (hamburger patties, steaks, shish kabobs, farmers sausage and chicken) must not be cooked on the cart.

Only condiments that do not require refrigeration after opening are allowed on the cart. Check the label of condiment containers. Grated cheese, squeeze cheese and mayonnaise are hazardous dairy products that require refrigeration and are not allowed.

Protection of condiments
Protect condiments from contamination. Pump dispensers may be used for dispensing mustard and ketchup. If your cart has condiment trays, they must have flip-top lids or lids that remain closed when they are not being used. Open jars are not acceptable. Condiments such as chopped onions cannot be prepared on site. Also, condiments such as cheese and mayonnaise are not permitted.

Food handling
Avoid touching foods with your hands. Use tongs or forks to pick up hot dogs and buns. Don't hold the bun in your bare hands. Use napkins or disposable wrappings to hold the bun.

Umbrella and cover
The food that is being heated must be protected from air-borne contamination such as rain, leaves and bird droppings. Put a cover over the heating unit and an umbrella over the cart to prevent contamination of foods being reheated.

Every hot dog cart must have a sink with hot and cold running water under pressure, liquid soap in a dispenser and paper towels. This sink is to be used only for handwashing.

Fresh and waste water holding
Every holding tank must have an easy-to-read gauge or line level indicator that shows the level of water in each tank. A clear plastic tank does not need a gauge since the level of water can easily be seen. You must have a minimum of 7 litres each of hot and cold water and a waste water tank of 24 litres.

Holding temperatures
    Perishable foods must be stored at or below 4C (40F). Store the food in a cooler on ice, on freezer packs or on dry ice. The food must be kept cold to prevent bacterial growth. Coolers must be equipped with thermometers.

    Cooked hot dogs must be held at 60C (140F).
A garbage container is necessary for the disposal of solid wastes. Make sure that it is large enough to prevent garbage from spilling over on to the ground. You can reduce garbage by using reusable condiment trays instead of single service packets of condiments. Clean the garbage container every day.

Washing and sanitizing the cart
Your hot dog cart must be cleaned every day before and after it is used. To clean, wash first with hot soapy water, rinse off with hot water and then sanitize. A sanitizing solution may be made by adding one teaspoon of chlorine bleach (5 ml) to one litre of water.

Food handlers
The person operating the cart is a food handler. All food handlers must obey the following rules:
  • No smoking while handling food
  • Wear clean outer garments
  • Wear headgear that confines the hair
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet, smoking, sneezing or after touching anything other than food
  • If you have any questions or to make an appointment, please call a public health office nearest you.
    Etobicoke Civic Centre
    399 The West Mall
    Toronto, Ontario,
    M9C 2Y2

    North York
    5100 Yonge Street
    Toronto, Ontario,
    M2N 5V7

    1530 Markham Road 5th Floor
    Toronto, Ontario,
    M1B 3G4

    East York
    175 Memorial Park Drive
    Toronto, Ontario,
    M4C 3G2

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