A new report by Montreal's Service de l'environnement and Inspection des aliments portrays a largely positive picture of the city's street food scene. Inspectors uncovered few major health code abuses by food truck operators over the summers of 2013 and 2014, reports La Presse. Offenses were typically minor: a lack of soap and hot water, cooks with jewelry on, or without beard nets, and so on. The city did cite a case of rodent excrement and dead insects in a truck's refrigerator, but such incidents were rare, and nowhere close to what inspectors sometimes see at restaurants. "The balance is positive," confirms city spokesperson Geneviève Dubé. "We have received very few complaints about street food trucks."
"Trucks are generally much cleaner than restaurants, as they are emptied every night. They are disconnected and the fridges are completely washed," affirms Gaëlle Cerf, the founder of the Association des restaurateurs de rue du Québec, and a Grumman 78 co-partner. A persistent difficulty for many trucks, the report suggests, is how to store food at proper temperatures, most notably when the humidex exceeds 40 (as it often did this past summer). Cerf tells La Presse that every truck operator has been trained on how to handle food. "Proper food storage is a challenge for all restaurateurs—trucks are no exception."
Montreal's street food season ends October 31. The final First Fridays event at the Olympic Park Esplanade will take place this Friday, October 2.
Update, October 1: The street food season will not end on October 31 for all truck operators. Some, like Au Pied de Cochon, Das Food, Phoenix, Queen B, Boîte à Fromages, and Gaufrabec, have been granted an exception, new as of 2015, to extend the season all year at spots such as Concordia University, the Quartier de la santé, Cité du Multimédia, Square Dorchester, and Square Victoria.