Contra Costa’s health inspection signs coming to mobile food vendors

Food trucks and other mobile food businesses operating in Contra Costa will now post the same color-coded signs as the county’s stationary restaurants to inform the public of any recent, major health code violations.

Contra Costa Environmental Health (CCEH) rolled out its placarding program today for some mobile food facilities, including those that cook or prepare food for sale and those selling pre-packaged food that can be hazardous if improperly stored.

In coming weeks, when one of these businesses receives their regular health inspection, the inspector will also post a green, yellow, red or white placard on the vehicle.

Green means the inspector found no or minimal health violations at the most recent inspection. White is for permit holders waiting for their renewal or reopening after a closure.

A yellow placard means the inspector found major health violations that the business was able to fix during the last inspection, but CCEH will return soon to ensure no more problems.

Red is reserved for businesses that are closed because of major health violations, such as vermin infestations, no potable water or operating without approved electrical power.

CCEH began its placarding program in 2016 with stationary food permit holders such as restaurants and supermarkets. Learn more at

The new businesses to receive placards include catering trucks and carts selling prepared food such as hot dogs, tamales or coffee. A few mobile food vendors will not – those that sell only prepackaged ice cream, whole, uncut produce or prepackaged food that is not likely to spoil.

CCEH, a division of Contra Costa Health Services, regulates approximately 200 mobile food facilities. Many operate throughout the county and greater Bay Area.

The program’s goal is to inform consumers and pressure food retailers to follow safe food handling practices. CCEH provides training for businesses that struggle to earn green placards.

A searchable database of health inspection results for Contra Costa and several neighboring counties is available at or through the county’s free Food Inspector App for iOS and Android.

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