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Mobile Unit – Plan Review Requirements

Last updated: December 1, 2022

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What is plan review?

Plan review is a process where the layout and design of a facility is reviewed before construction, remodeling or alteration can occur at a food service facility. This process assures that food service facilities are constructed in compliance with Maryland State regulations.

What type of plan review is required for the approval of a mobile unit?

Structural and HACCP plan reviews must be completed prior to opening or operating a new or remodeled mobile unit. In Anne Arundel County, each plan review is conducted by the County Department of Health.

What items are required for a structural plan review?

  1. A floor plan showing the layout of equipment and a diagram of the plumbing within the mobile unit must be submitted. In general, the mobile unit must be designed to support food service equipment, including refrigeration, and to carry out all tasks associated with preparation, service and food storage.
  2. The make, model number and certification of food service equipment must be submitted. All food service equipment must be NSF-approved or certified as NSF equivalent.   
  3. The finish material(s) of floor, wall and ceiling surfaces. 
  4. A copy of the menu. 
  5. An authorization letter from a licensed food service facility or approved depot facility, which includes the facility name, location, food service facility permit number, point of contact and telephone number. The depot facility must provide a source of potable water, hoses and connections; refrigerated and dry food storage areas; a method and place for wastewater disposal; trash disposal; and utensil washing facility. See Depot Permission Form.
  6. Submit information on the size of the onboard water supply and wastewater holding tanks.
  7. Submit information on the source of food, water and ice. Water must be from a public water source or a private well that serves a licensed food service facility.

What is a HACCP plan?

HACCP, or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, is an assessment of your menu that evaluates food temperatures associated with cooking, cooling and reheating of potentially hazardous foods. A specialist from the Department of Health will develop a custom HACCP plan for each facility to ensure potentially hazardous foods are prepared in a manner that minimizes bacterial growth. The HACCP plan must be completed before your mobile unit is approved to operate.

What items do I need for inspection of my mobile unit?

    • An approved HACCP plan.
    • Inspection and approval of the Fire Marshall for operation of all exhaust hoods and Ansul systems. Exhaust hoods or mechanical ventilation are required over all cooking, grilling and steaming equipment. For Fire Marshall’s inspection guidelines, click here.
    • A supply of hot and cold running water at hand sinks and three-compartment sinks.
    • A supply of hand soap, paper towels and a towel dispenser at all hand sinks.
    • Sanitizer and sanitizer test strips.
    • Metal stem thermometers for monitoring proper food temperatures and thermometers marked in two-degree increments in all refrigeration and freezer units.
    • Food service equipment must be capable of maintaining proper food temperatures.
    • All food contact surfaces must be constructed of an approved food contact material (e.g., stainless steel).
    • Lighting must be adequately shielded or provided with shatterproof bulbs.
    • Single service items, including utensils, napkins and condiments, must be kept in tight fitting, closed containers.
    • A working generator* or other approved power source.

*A generator is required and must be installed on the exterior of the mobile unit in accordance with manufacturer specifications.

What items do I need to apply for a mobile unit license?

To obtain a license to operate a mobile food service unit, such as a hot dog cart or sandwich truck, or other type of mobile food unit, the required forms and fees are as follows:

1. Mobile Unit application $395
[download the Mobile Unit Food Service Facility application] (PDF)
2. Mobile Unit Acknowledgment form no fee
[download the Mobile Unit Acknowledgment form] (PDF)
3. Mobile Unit Depot Permission form no fee
[download the Mobile Unit Depot Permission form] (PDF)
4. Workman’s Compensation form no fee
Workers’ Compensation Application for Certificate of Compliance (PDF)
Workers’ Compensation Statement of Compliance (PDF)
Workers’ Compensation Exclusion Form (PDF)
5. Structural Plan Review fee
high/medium/low priority no fee
[download the Mobile Unit Food Service Facility application] (PDF)
6. HACCP Plan Review fee
high/medium priority only $750
[download the Food Service Facility application](PDF)

After these forms have been submitted to the Department of Health, call 410-222-7192 to make an appointment to have your mobile unit inspected. The unit must be brought to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health (lower parking lot) located at 3 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD for this inspection.

NOTE: If you plan to build your own mobile food service unit or to have one built for you, it is strongly recommended that you submit the plans to the Department of Health for review. Failing to do so may leave you with a unit that requires expensive modifications before you can be licensed to operate it.

Where can I get more information?

A complete copy of the regulations governing food service facilities, Code of Maryland Regulations 10.15.03, is available at www.dsd.state.md.us/comar or contact:

Housing Protection Services Program
Anne Arundel County Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Health
3 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

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