Mobile Food Establishments

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Mobile Food Units that utilize propane must have an annual propane pressure test before being able to renew their Mobile Food Unit Permit.  Mobile Food Units currently permitted by the City who have grills, gas stoves, fryers, or other food equipment that can produce grease vapors, shall have a fire suppression system installed on the vent hood before August 1, 2020.  New Mobile Food Units shall meet this requirement before a mobile food unit permit can be issued.

Mobile Food Units must begin utilizing recyclable or compostable straws, spoons, forks, knives, plates and other single service articles before January 1, 2020.

Effective January 1, 2020, NO styrofoam cups, plates, containers, or other styrofoam single service items will be allowed to be used or stored on Mobile Food Units.


Permit Requirements

All of these requirements must be met before a permit will be issued:

  • All employees must have a valid Food Handler's Training Certificate
  • All foods must be from an approved source. (labeled)
  • All mobile food establishments can only operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and may not remain longer than 15 minutes at any one location.
  • All mobile food establishments must provide a copy of Texas sales tax certificate
  • Clean and enclosed unit/vehicle. Smooth, easily cleanable, and nonabsorbent surfaces
  • Covered trash receptacles
  • Hot and Cold hold equipment: Hot 135°F or above and Cold 41°F or below
  • If a mobile establishment is not commercially designed, then a plan or drawing to show the layout of the mobile establishment must be submitted
  • Only single service/use items are allowed (i.e. styrofoam, plastic or paper)
  • Plumbing
    • Self -contained pressurized (by pump) hot and cold potable water system
      • Hand washing sink (equipped with soap and paper towels)
      • 3 compartment ware wash sink (must have capacity for largest piece of ware/equipment)
    • Permanently installed wastewater holding tank (15% greater in size than potable water capacity)
  • Proper sanitizing of all food contact surfaces
  • Thermometers are required (cold hold, hot hold and stem type for cooked foods)


Mobile establishments must operate from an approved central preparation facility, (Residential home facility is not allowed) this central preparation facility shall meet all Texas Food Establishment Rules, and hold a current food establishment license.

The mobile establishment shall return to that central preparation facility for replenishing of supplies, and servicing of the establishment. If the central preparation facility is located outside the City of San Marcos, valid copies of the food establishment's permit and most recent inspection are required.

Selling vending or soliciting cannot take place on a publicly owned right of way without an agreement with the appropriate agency.