Food trucks in Los Angeles County are having a harder time than obtaining an “A” grade in restaurant inspections than brick and mortar locations or sometimes even sidewalk food carts. Those are among the findings of a LA Times review of restaurant inspection data for the largest county in the United States. The ten million people who reside in Los Angeles County, are however among those who’ve made food trucks one of the most popular restaurant venues in the country. CAfoodtruck_406x250The newspaper found about 27 percent of the food trucks operating in the southern California county have earned less than an “A” grade doing the last two years, according to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health data. The same can be said for 18 percent of sidewalk food carts, but for brick and mortar restaurants fewer than 5 percent earned less than an “A.” The LA Times reports suggests the data is showing how difficult it is to “stay sanitary” in confined space without the equipment that is usually readily available in any building housing a restaurant. Food trucks are usually about 8 feet wide by about 20 feet long.  Experts said mobile cooking and storage present challenges, including the potential for cross-contamination. Food truck owners in Los Angeles County continue to complain that inspectors are out to find food truck violations, making it harder for them to make an “A” grade. Food trucks came under regulations requiring inspections of the first time in Los Angeles County in 2011. The Los Angeles County Department of Health insists the inspection process is the same for brick and mortar restaurants, food trucks and carts. All are scored on a 100 point scale, where points are deducted for major, minor, and low-risk violations. Only 10 points can be lost before falling below an “A” grade. Inspections are random, but an owner can also request and pay for a re-inspection within 12 months after the initial random inspection.   (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)