Business
People buy food from the Kogi truck in Los Angeles, California, June 6, 2014. Kogi Korean BBQ, a Korean taco truck that tweeted its way to international stardom in 2008, is the ultimate example of L.A. People buy food from the Kogi truck in Los Angeles, California, June 6, 2014. Kogi Korean BBQ, a Korean taco truck that tweeted its way to international stardom in 2008, is the ultimate example of L.A.'s vibrant food culture. It was the brainchild of chef Roy Choi, who was a toddler when his family immigrated to the United States from Korea and is now famous for launching the hipster food truck trend that took the United States by storm. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY FOOD) - RTR3SLU1  

Food Trucks Actually Safer Than Restaurants, Study Finds

A study recently released by the Institute for Justice (IJ), a non-profit legal firm, challenges the common perception that food trucks are unclean and unsafe, reports Watchdog.

Launched as part of IJ’s National Street Vending initiative, the study examined over 260,000 food-safety inspection reports from seven major American cities. According to the author of the study, Angela C. Erickson, the idea that food trucks are unsafe is a flat-out myth.

And it is this myth that public officials rely on when placing heavy-handed restrictions on mobile food trucks, or even outright banning them, according to Erickson’s research.

In all seven of the major cities examined over the past three years, food-safety regulations that applied to restaurants also applied to mobile food vendors. And the results were stunningly consistent. Across the board, food trucks and food carts were found to be as safe, if not more safe, than restaurants.

Seattle was the only exception to the rule, where mobile vendors performed at the same rate as restaurants.

On the other hand, in Washington, DC, restaurant and hotel food-safety violations were twice as high as the number recorded for food trucks.  But violations as a whole–by restaurants and mobile food vendors in all cities–were fairly low. (RELATED: Lawyer: Consumer protection laws apparently do not help consumers)

As the study notes, “In six of the seven cities, violations by food trucks and carts ranged from just one to four violations per truck or cart, while restaurants averaged just four to eight.”

“[L]imiting food trucks from operating downtown does not improve public health; it only stifles entrepreneurship and prevents hungry workers from having more lunch options,” said Erickson.

IJ deems these sorts of regulations as protectionist rackets which ensure that restaurants can minimize competition.

In an attempt to avoid confounding factors like frequency of inspections or variations in traffic, IJ relied on two types of statistical analysis to “determine whether the differences between mobile vendors and brick-and-mortar restaurants are genuine or mere random chance”.

Jonah Bennett on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.