Restaurant Report Card for Nov. 1: Food trucks

Published On: Nov 01 2012 03:27:37 PM CDT   Updated On: Nov 01 2012 10:47:37 PM CDT

There are some 900 food trucks in the Houston area and they're not just for tacos anymore. You can get everything from cupcakes to Vietnamese cuisine from a restaurant on wheels.

Just like regular restaurants, these diners with a drive shaft have to follow the health code.

In July, health inspectors stopped the Waffle Bus and made the operator discard a lot of food that was off temperature, including 12 dozen eggs and 40 pounds of chicken.

Oh My Gogi, a truck that serves Korean barbeque, also had a similar problem when inspectors checked in July. Inspectors said they found the refrigerator was 71 degrees inside, which is 30 degrees warmer than allowed by the health code.

Inspectors closed Pollo Monterrey, parked in the 16000 block of Imperial Valley, when they saw dead and live roaches inside.

Inspectors also said employees were draining liquid waste from the truck into a storm drain. An employee, who invited Local 2 inside, said it was all a big misunderstanding and blamed the truck parked a few feet away.

"So it comes under the trailer, so it looks like we're the ones dumping water. When it's actually from them," said Dulce Reyna.

On the Taquerua Mi Jalisco truck, normally parked on Bauman near Parker, inspectors said they found cockroaches.

In Taqueria el Amanecer-Palacios in the 7700 block of Bellfort, inspectors said the beef was 37 degrees too warm.

Arthurene Smith owns a food truck named the Lunch Bag. She said it's her job to keep her truck clean and the food safe. She said you can't always see issues from the window where you order, but there is one way to make sure the truck you frequent is keeping it clean.

"Some people may want to see a green slip," Smith told Local 2.

All food trucks are required to keep green slips as proof they cleaned the unit at an approved commissary every day it was used. You can ask to see the slip and check the date on it to make sure it's current, before you place your order.

Smith said most food truck owners work hard to stay clean.

"I believe that they're trying to keep the public safe, so I don't think it's a problem," she said.

Local 2 found two food trucks with perfect inspection reports. Oh My Pocket Pies and Off The Hook BBQ get an A+ in this week's Restaurant Report Card.