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Food Vendors – Before You Buy or Build

Before you build or modify unit, you need to verify rules and regulations.
Codes vary by local health departments, not state.
We are not aware of the codes or rules. We are not aware of what tanks or items you need.

No NSF Logo - See Why


Tanks no longer have the NSF logo molded into them due to changes NSF made regarding the use of the NSF logo. The NSF Company does not allow for end users to use the NSF logo unless each item has been inspected and a certification paid for, the material that all of our tanks are made from are still the same NSF Certified Material, adding this extra step of certification is an unnecessary step but generates revenues.

The NSF Company does not allow vendors/manufacturers to link to the NSF paperwork unless verified NSF products are being used, our company has been verified and therefore is allowed to link to the NSF Certified Materials on the NSF Website. If needed your inspector can check on this regarding our company and website as we have already provided this information to the NSF company and have been advised on how to correctly use/link to the certification information on our website.

Examples Questions – Fresh and Gray Water Tanks
Size (Gallons / Measurements / Fresh to Gray ratio)
Fittings (Size / Placement / Materials)
Filling Procedure (Lockable Fill Dish / Materials)
Tank Placement (Inside / Outside of unit)
Clean Out Requirements

Water Tank Percent Calculation Examples
15% Large Gray Tank Than Fresh: Multiply (fresh tank size) x 1.15 = Tank needed
25% Large Gray Tank Than Fresh: Multiply (fresh tank size) x 1.25 = Tank needed
50% Large Gray Tank Than Fresh: Multiply (fresh tank size) x 1.50 = Tank needed

I have only so much room how many gallons can I get in that space?
We do not recommend sizes or verbally give measurements, this is to avoid errors. Please look at the Water Tank List located at the top of each webpage or under Navigation Menu on mobile devices to see all tanks Class A Customs currently manufactures. You would need to compare the measurements of the tank with your available space and determine the best tank for your needs and application.

What fittings will I need for my plumbing?
Do you have a”plug and play” or “concession kit”?
There is no one size fits all application for the water tank set-up, it varies by application, unfortunately we are not aware of what items you will be needing.

trash can

My health department doesn’t care, they won’t look… my builders said it is ok… I am just updating tanks.
We hear this and then get the call needing a different tank sent overnight to meet a deadline. It takes very little time to check before and saves you time and money. Forward the documents and tank information provided to your local health department before purchasing to be sure these tanks will pass your local inspection, this is your responsibility.

food truck inspection flow

Example of how difficult getting a mobile food unit permit can be, check first and get approval.
NYC Food Permit Information

What does my inspector need when I go to inspections on the tanks?

Class A Customs NSF Letter
Receipt of Purchase
All tanks have the part number molded into the tank, inspector can verify tank.


Frank Baltierrez – How to Build a Food Truck Youtube Series

NYC Health Department – Free Online Course

ServSafe Manager Practice Tests — These are for practice only current tests will vary.

State Food Safety – Disaster Relief Food Safety Training

CDC Center for Disease Control Food Safety Videos

Iowa State University of Science and Technology – Food Service Employee Training Videos

NYC Business Buildings Information System


These are examples of terms and requirements that you may encounter.

ALWAYS check your local health department where the inspection will be made for requirements.

Mobile Food Unit: Any vehicle that is self-propelled or that can be pulled or pushed down a sidewalk, street, highway or waterway, on which food is prepared, processed, or converted or which is used in selling and dispensing food to customers. Mobile food units must be capable of being mobile at all times during operation. The wheels of the unit may not be removed from the unit at the operating location. Most mobile food units require a commissary for rapidly cooling foods, food washing, overnight storage, and dish washing facilities. Check local codes for requirements.

Unattended Mobile Food Unit Prohibited: No MFU shall be parked on the street overnight or left unattended and unsecured at any time food is kept in the MFU. Any MFU which is found to be unattended in this manner shall be considered a public safety hazard and may be ticketed and impounded. Additionally, after a Vendor is done operating on private property for the day, the MFU must be relocated to a site other than the private property on which it was operating, unless that private property is also the commissary for the MFU.

Plan Review: Conducted by the Regulatory Authority by reviewing the menu, equipment list, and layout of the unit for several reasons; 1) To make sure the unit will be in compliance with the regulations, 2) to prevent any misunderstandings by the applicant/owner, and 3) allows the RA to become familiar with the operation, the owner, and potential for future problems before the unit is permitted. Check local codes for requirements.

Identification: Each mobile food unit must be clearly marked with the licensee’s name or a distinctive identifying symbol. Check local codes for requirements.

Water Supply: Mobile food units must use water from an approved water supply and be designed to provide a sufficient capacity to meet operational needs. The system must be of sufficient capacity to furnish enough hot and cold water for food preparation, dish washing, and hand washing. Materials used in the construction of mobile food unit water tanks and plumbing must be made of safe (food or drinking water grade) materials. All connecting hoses must be food grade and clearly identified as to their use (so as not to be mistakenly used for another purpose). A backflow prevention device must be installed at one hose connection bib to prevent backflow into the clean water system. Check local codes for requirements.

Grease Trap or Grease Interceptor mobile food vendors are calling letting us know some places are now requiring a grease trap to be installed on units. Ask before installing any plumbing. Guide To Grease Interceptors

Sewage Disposal: All liquid wastes must drain into an approved wastewater tank. All liquid waste from the waste tank or from cleaning activities such as cleaning the mobile food unit must be captured and properly disposed of in the sanitary sewer. Wastewater can not be dumped onto the ground, onto the streets, or into a storm a drain. Check local codes for requirements.

Power Source: Mobile food unit must have an appropriate power source (e.g., generator or plugged into an electrical source) to ensure food sanitation requirements are met at all hours of operation (e.g., provide proper cold holding, hot holding, and meet hand washing and dish washing hot water requirements). Check local codes for requirements.

Hot Water: Hot water generation and distribution systems must be sufficient to meet the peak hot water demands for hand washing facilities, dish washing, and other operations of the mobile food unit. Check local codes for requirements.

Hand Washing Facilities: The location of hand washing facilities must be convenient and readily accessible to all operations. Mobile food units must have plumbed hand washing facilities with water under pressure. The use of hand washing facilities is restricted to hand washing only. A splash guard around the handsink to prevent splashing cross contamination. Check local codes for requirements.

Dish Washing: All utensils and equipment must be washed in a 3-compartment sink (capable of washing the largest utensil or equipment) or commercial dishwasher. Check with local code for smaller units that do not have dish washing sinks. Check local codes for requirements.

Indirect Waste: Any piece of equipment utilized to hold food or ice that is equipped with a drain must have indirect waste plumbing. Check local codes for requirements.

Potentially Hazardous Food: A food that is natural or synthetic and is in a form capable of supporting the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms, or the growth and toxin production of clostridium botulinum. “Potentially hazardous food” includes an animal food that is raw or heat-treated, a food of plant origin that is heat-treated or consists of raw seed sprouts, cut melons, and garlic and oil mixtures. Check local codes for requirements.

Food Handler Cards: All food service workers who handle food, drinks, or utensils must have a valid Food Handler Card. Check local codes for requirements.

Food Sources: All foods, beverages and ice must be obtained from an approved source. Any food preparation or food storage done off-site must be accomplished at a licensed food establishment. No home prepared or home canned foods or foods that have been stored in a home are allowed. Check local codes for requirements.

Cold Holding: Adequate refrigeration must be provided to ensure potentially hazardous foods are held at correct temperature. Each refrigeration unit must be equipped with either a built-in thermometer or be provided with a numerically scaled spirit stem thermometer. Thermometers must be located to measure the air temperature in the warmest part of the refrigerator and located in an area where the thermometer is easy to read. Check local codes for temperatures.

Hot Holding: Adequate equipment to hold hot potentially hazardous food must be provided. Check local codes for temperatures.

Rapid Cooling: The best way to keep food safe is to make it fresh each day, just before you serve it. If you have food that is leftover or made in advance, you must cool this food rapidly at a facility with equipment designed for rapidly cooling foods. Check local codes for temperatures.

Rapid Reheating: Potentially hazardous food that has been cooked, cooled, and reheated for hot holding must be reheated with appropriate methods and heating – Check local codes for temperatures.

Probe Thermometer: Check local codes for requirements.

Date Marking: Ready-to-eat potentially hazardous foods that will not be used within a day must be date marked with either the preparation date, use-by date, or date the commercial package was open. Check local codes for requirements.

Storage: Adequate storage equipment is required to assure that all food, food containers, and single service utensils are stored at least six inches above the floor, or on a four inch high platform (or wheeled platforms). Storage shelves must be smooth, impervious, and easily cleanable. Food may not be stored in areas such as under sinks with exposed or unprotected sewer lines or water lines. Toxic items must be stored and labeled to allow for proper use and prevent contamination of food and food contact surfaces. Check local codes for requirements.

Auxiliary Storage: Auxiliary storage is limited to items necessary for one day of operation. Auxiliary storage must be in impervious, nonabsorbent, covered containers and stored in a way that prevents contamination and meets food safety requirements. Check local codes for requirements.

Produce: Produce must be washed at a licensed facility in a sink with indirect waste. Check local codes for requirements.

Equipment: All equipment should be easy to clean and maintained in good repair. All metal equipment should be free of rust and corrosion. Rusty/corroded metal equipment should be replaced or refinished in an approved manner. Wooden surfaces must be finished to provide a washable surface. All stationary equipment should be installed to allow easy cleaning beneath and/or behind equipment. Check local codes for requirements. Documents of Approved Appliance Testing.

Self-Service: Self-service foods within customer reach that are not prepackaged must be protected from customer contamination by a sneeze shield or other approved means. Condiments such as ketchup containers and salsas must be dispensed to protect foods from contamination. Condiments must be dispensed from the mobile food unit. Auxiliary storage may not be used for self-service, assembly, or preparation activities. Check local codes for requirements.

Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is required to prevent grease or condensation from collecting on walls and ceilings. Please check with local city and/or county building and fire departments regarding requirements. Do I need a Fire Inspection? Fire Extinguisher? Ancillary Fire Suppression System Check local codes for requirements.

Wall, Floor, and Overhead Protection: Floors, walls, and ceilings must be finished, smooth, and easily cleanable. All outer openings must be protected to prevent the entrance of insects, rodents, and contamination from weather elements.

Overhead protection must be provided for mobile food units that are operated outdoors and where food is not covered at all times. Examples of overhead protection include roofing, ceilings, awnings, or umbrellas. Overhead protection is not required for barbecue units that have a lid or covering that will protect foods from contamination. The overhead protection must be maintained in good repair. Check local codes for requirements.

Lighting: Adequate lighting must be provided. Light bulbs must be shielded or shatter resistant. Check local codes for requirements.

Doors and Windows: Exterior doors must be rodent proof (clearance may not exceed 1/4 inch and should be as tight-fitting as possible). All openings to the outer air must be screened to prevent fly entry. Check local codes for requirements.

Employee Personal Items: Employee personal items such as jackets, purses, medicines, etc., must be stored separately from food preparation areas and in a manner to prevent contamination. Check local codes for requirements.

Garbage Disposal: Must be disposed of at an approved, sanitary garbage disposal site or at base of operations. Garbage facilities at the base of operations must be located in an area with a hard, nonabsorbent surface such as cement or asphalt. Outside containers must be covered and adequately sized. Check local codes for requirements.

Hazard: A biological (microorganism), chemical (cleansers, pesticides), or physical (fingernail, plastic) property that may cause an unacceptable consumer health risk. Check local codes for requirements.

Smoke-free Workplace Law: Check local codes for requirements.

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Preparation & Installation of Water Tank

Non-Pressurized Water Tanks
Non-Pressurized Water Tanks

Sanitize each tank prior to use to remove any debris from the manufacturing process.

Tanks are made in a warehouse, wipe with a damp cloth to remove surface dust or scuffs

Installation & Plumbing
Non-Pressurized Tank all tanks we carry must be vented allowing air in and out when in use, Plumbing Examples
Do Not hook a garden hose directly to tank damage will occur, it is recommended to use a fill dish or other gravity process
Do Not over-tighten fittings as damage will occur.

It is recommended to use plastic NPT male fittings with plastic female NPT fittings to avoid damaging the threads, metal thread fittings can crush the plastic threads.
Very little, if any, pipe thread tape is needed using too much pipe tape will damage the threads. We do not recommend pipe dope as you can not remove the fitting later, if used be sure to use a food safe brand.

Basic Plumbing Diagram - Example Only

What fittings will I need for my plumbing?

This will depend on how you are setting-up your tank and will vary by application, we are not aware of what items you will be needing, please view the Plumbing Examples

Fill Dishes

Food Grade Fill Hose


Uniseal Grommets

Water Tank Monitors & Probes

Water Pumps

Bracing and Supporting Water Tank - Example Only

Mounting & Bracing
Tank can be placed on any side.
Place tank on level surface and brace to prevent tank from moving during transit.
Tank needs to be adequately supported, examples on the Water Tank Helps Page
Do Not hang by ratchet straps, this is too thin and will not adequately support tank.
Do Not place weight on tank, if you need to stack the tanks you will need a weight bearing shelf between them.

Can I install the tank under the trailer?
Tanks can be installed inside or outside of unit, for food vendors verify requirements before purchasing as some areas do not allow tanks to be outside of the unit and others do not allow the tank to be inside of the unit.

All tanks must be braced and secured to prevent any movement of the tank while in transit and to prevent possibility of tank tipping or falling.
Due to the manufacturing process all the tanks especially the larger in size will have a bowing to the walls, when the tank is filled the tank will expand out removing the inward bow, we recommend laying all tanks on a level surface (this can be angled to help with drainage) and bracing the tanks. For larger tanks it is recommended to brace all side walls with plywood or metal, we do not recommend using ratchet straps on the tanks alone as this is a large amount of weight on a thin strip and may cause cutting into the tank. For tanks placed outside it is also recommend to enclose tanks using sheet metal / plywood or some other type of weather proof material to prevent damage from road debris and speed bumps, be sure to check your clearance before ordering.

Brackets or Strap Systems Due to the variety of installations we do not carry brackets or bracing systems.

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How to Fill a Fresh Water Holding Tank – Fill Dish Installation Instructions

What is a fill dish?
The fill dish is located on the outside of your unit so that you can easily add water to your tank without the need of opening a compartment or climbing under your unit. You can find the fill dishes in the Plumbing Category.

For adding water to the Water Tank you need a Gravity Fill Dish, the hose rests in the port it does not screw onto the port this allows you to place a garden hose into the Gravity Fill Dish port without making a sealed connection so the supply is not pressurized.

For using Water Directly from a garden hose you need a City Fill Dish, the hose makes a sealed connection and the water supply is pressurized, you can not hook this to your water tank and you do not need to go through your water pump.

We carry Gravity Fill Dishes, City Fill Dishes and Combo Fill Dishes that have both gravity and city, the benefit of having both is you can have a water tank of fresh water but if you go to a location that supplies pressurized water (campground – fair – etc.) you do not need to use your water tank supply of water you can simply use the water provided. Be sure to look at the provided example plumbing diagram for more reference.

How to fill water tank - gravity and city fill dish

Visit our Water Fill Dishes Category under Plumbing.

Basic Plumbing Diagram - Example Only

For my application I am not using a fill dish.

For gravity feeding you can place a larger fitting such as a PVC elbow in the tank and allow your hose to rest in this when filling, do not make a secured/sealed connection as this would then be pressurized.

Fitting Cap Example for when not using fill dish

You will still need to vent the tank, this can be as easy as placing a fitting with a screen secured over it. Be aware that if you overfill the tank the excess water will exit the vent fitting, placing the vent fitting overflow to an outside location is recommended. Be sure to screen over the vent fitting overflow to prevent anything from entering the tank. Do not over-tighten fittings as damage will occur.

Examples of Items to Vent Tanks – We do not sell these products they can be found online
Oatey® 1.5 in. NPT ABS In-Line Vent
Straight, Black Plastic Tank Vent

Oatey® 1.5 in. NPT ABS In-Line Vent

What fittings will I need for my plumbing?

We are not aware of how to set-up your tank, set-up will vary by each application this is something you need to research. Have a certified technician install all parts to prevent product damage and personal injury. Please view our Plumbing Category for information on loose fittings we carry. Be sure to Sanitize Tank before installing. It is recommended to use plastic NPT male fittings with plastic female NPT fittings to avoid damaging the threads, metal thread fittings can crush the plastic threads. Very little, if any, pipe thread tape is needed using too much pipe tape will damage the threads. We do not recommend pipe dope as you can not remove the fitting later, if used be sure to use a food safe brand. Do not over-tighten fittings as damage will occur.

For my application I am going to use a pressurized line to the tank.

This will void any warranty on the tank. Turning a garden hose on half way does not work because you can control the amount of water flowing but not the pressure in the line, leaving the tank to fill risks exploding the tank.