An ordinance amending Title 10 (Health and Safety) of the Metropolitan Code of Laws providing regulations for temporary food establishments and mobile food vendors, all of which is more specifically described herein.

WHEREAS, the area of the Metropolitan Government has in recent years experienced a dramatic increase in the number of mobile food vendors and temporary food establishments; and

WHEREAS, during the past year alone, the number of mobile food vendors has increased 54%; and

WHEREAS, based on the recent inspection of 31 mobile food vendors during the summer of 2005, the average sanitary score was a 67 compared to an average score for restaurants of 83; and

WHEREAS, only 45% of the 31 mobile food vendors inspected were in compliance with Metro Water Services, and only 29% were in compliance with the Fire Marshal's requirements; and

WHEREAS, a comparison of the inspections conducted in the spring of 2005 with those conducted in the summer of 2005 evidences a substantial increase in the number of critical violations for these establishments, which poses a health risk to employees and patrons of the establishments; and

WHEREAS, statistical information regarding the recent inspections of mobile food vendors has been filed with the Metropolitan Clerk; and

WHEREAS, although food establishments and vendors are currently inspected and regulated by the Metropolitan Department of Health, the Metropolitan County Council finds that it is in the best interest of the safety and welfare of the residents of Nashville and Davidson County that additional regulations be implemented for temporary food establishments and mobile food vendors to ensure that they are operating in a safe and sanitary manner.


Section 1. Title 10 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws be and the same is hereby amended by adding the following new Chapter 10.10:


10.10.010 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:

Food shall include all articles used for human consumption as food, drink, confectionery or condiments, whether simple, mixed or compound, and all substances or ingredients used in preparation thereof.

Food service establishment shall mean any restaurant, lunch stand, cafe, market, store, sandwich shop, soda fountain, delicatessen, catering kitchen, or any other place in or from which meat, fish, or shell family, birds, fowl, vegetables, fruit, milk, ice cream, ices, beverages or any other food intended for consumption by human beings is manufactured, kept, stored or offered for sale, disposition or distribution as food for human beings, with or without charge.
Mobile food vendor shall mean any vehicle mounted food service establishment that is designed to be readily movable, including but not limited to carts, mobile kitchens, hot dog carts, and mobile trailers in which food is prepared and sold that does not meet the definition of "temporary food service establishment". Vendors selling only prepackaged food shall not be considered mobile food vendors.

Regulatory authority means the metropolitan department of health, the metropolitan department of codes administration, the metropolitan department of water and sewerage services, and the metropolitan fire marshal.

Temporary food service establishment shall mean a food service establishment that operates at a fixed location for a period of time of not more than fourteen (14) consecutive days in conjunction with a single special event for which a special events permit has been applied for and obtained from the mayor's office of film and special events pursuant to chapter 2.62 of the metropolitan code of laws or for a charitable event held for the benefit of a nonprofit organization.

10.10.020 Permit required.

No person shall engage in the sale of food as a mobile food vendor or temporary food establishment without a permit from the department of health. The chief medical director shall promulgate rules and regulations regarding the application for and issuance of such permits.

10.10.030 Periodic inspections - Notice of location.
A. Each temporary food service establishment shall be inspected routinely. The department of health shall determine the inspection frequency most appropriate for these types of facilities.
B. Access. Regulatory authority inspectors, after proper identification, shall be permitted to enter any temporary food service establishment at any reasonable time, for the purpose of making inspections to determine compliance with this ordinance and applicable rules of the regulatory authority.
C. Report of inspections. Whenever an inspection of a temporary food service establishment is made, the findings shall be recorded on an inspection report form approved by the regulatory authority.
D. Correction of violations.
1. The inspection report form shall specify the period of time for the correction of the violations found, and correction of the violations shall be accomplished within the period specified. In the case of temporary food service establishments, all violations shall be corrected within twenty-four (24) hours. If violations are not corrected within the timeframe specified by the regulatory agency, the establishment shall immediately cease food service operations until authorized to resume by the regulatory authority.
2. The inspection report shall state that failure to comply with any time limits for corrections may result in cessation of food operations. An opportunity for appeal from the inspection findings and time limitations will be provided in accordance with regulatory authority procedures.
3. Whenever a temporary food service establishment is required under the provisions of this rule to cease operations, it shall not resume operations until such time as a re-inspection determines that condition responsible for cessation of operations no longer exists. Opportunity for re-inspection shall be offered within a reasonable time.
E. Notice of location. Each mobile food vendor or owner/operator of a temporary food service establishment shall provide the department of health fourteen (14) days advanced notice of each location or locations at which the establishment is to be in operation.

10.10.040 Mobile food vendors prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate as a mobile food vendor within the area of the metropolitan government, provided that this prohibition shall not be applicable to street vendors licensed pursuant to section 13.08.040 of the metropolitan code of laws.

10.10.050 Implementation of rules and regulations.
The department of health shall have the authority to adopt and implement rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the chapter, which will effectuate the purposes of this chapter and secure compliance with its provisions to protect the health and safety of the inhabitants within the area of the metropolitan government.

Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Buck Dozier, Tommy Bradley, Amanda McClendon


Introduced: November 15, 2005
Passed First Reading: November 15, 2005
Referred to: Codes Committee
Health, Hospitals & Social Services Committee
Deferred to January 17, 2006: December 6, 2005
Deferred to February 21, 2006: January 17, 2006
Deferred Indefinitely: February 21, 2006
Withdrawn: August 21, 2007