Construction of vehicle

The design and construction of a mobile food vending vehicle must:

  • be appropriate for the types of food stored, prepared and sold
  • have adequate space for all activities and for all equipment to be used or stored
  • allow easy cleaning and sanitising procedures of all structures and equipment
  • prevent the entry of pests, dust, fumes, smoke and other contaminants where practicable
  • exclude favourable sites for pests to harbour (live and breed)

The design and layout of a mobile food vending vehicle should be well planned and should take into consideration a range of key issues including but not limited to: maximising space without compromising food safety, using effective and durable construction materials, providing preparation and storage areas, hygiene requirements such as hand washing, and compliance with Food Safety Standards to ensure effective and acceptable operation.

Design principles should accommodate food safety flow of product and waste to minimise risks of food and equipment contamination. Separating particular processes must be considered including:

  • raw and cooked foods
  • hand washing facilities and utensil wash up areas
  • storage facilities
  • waste disposal areas

Separation of the driving compartment from food storage, handling and serving sections should be considered.

The constructional standards required are dependent on the type, extent and frequency of food handling operations. As these standards can vary widely, it is recommended that before constructing or using a vehicle to sell food, the local council be approached and a clear agreement reached.


Floors are to be constructed of materials which are impervious and durable.

The intersections of walls to floors should be without corners (coved): tight jointed, sealed and dust proof.

Floors should be graded to the doorsill or, alternatively, a floor waste with a screwed removable plug is to be provided.

Floors that are unlikely to pose any risk of contamination of food handled in the vehicle may be exempted from the constructional requirements of these guidelines provided the food business has obtained council approval.


Walls are to be provided where they are necessary to protect food from contamination.

Walls must be finished with materials suitable for activities conducted in the vehicle, and be easy to clean. Light coloured, high gloss, impervious surfaces are recommended.

Suitable wall materials in food preparation areas are stainless steel, aluminium sheeting, acrylic or laminated plastic sheeting or polyvinyl sheeting with welded seams.

Architraves, skirting boards, picture rails or similar protrusions should not be used on the walls.

Walls at the rear of cooking appliances should be surfaced with a material such as stainless steel, which extends from the canopy to the floor. Where a cooking appliance is sealed to the wall, the material should be lapped over the top edge of the appliance to provide a grease and vermin-proof seal. Cooking appliances should only be sealed to walls made of a non-combustible material.

A splashback should be installed to a minimum height of 300 mm above any bench, sink or hand basin and should be constructed using an impervious waterproof material.


Ceilings are to be provided where they are necessary to protect food from contamination.

Ceilings must be finished with impervious materials suitable for activities conducted in the vehicle, and be easy to clean. A light colour is recommended.

Where applicable, the ceiling height should be adequate to effectively conduct food handling activities. Ceilings should be free of open joints, cracks and crevices.

The intersection of walls and ceilings should be tight jointed, sealed and dust proof.

Door and serving openings

All openings are to be fitted with close fitting doors and shutters where practicable to exclude dust, pests and other contaminants. These should be closed during transport.

Door and serving hatches should be finished internally with the same standard of material as the walls.

Pipes, conduits and wiring

Pipes, conduits and wiring should be concealed in or behind floors, walls and ceilings, or fixed on brackets providing at least 25 mm clearance between the pipe and adjacent surfaces, and 150 mm between the pipe or conduit and adjacent horizontal surfaces.

Service pipes, conduits and wiring should not be placed in the recessed toe space of plinths or equipment.

Equipment and appliances

Equipment should be either built in with no cavities, or mounted on castors capable of being easily moved to facilitate cleaning.

Cooking equipment should not be placed beneath windows, wall cupboards, serving openings, shelving or roof vents.


Adequate lighting in accordance with Australian Standards is to be provided to ensure safe food handling.

In areas where exposed food is handled or stored, light fittings should be shatter-proof or fitted with suitable light diffusers (covers) to prevent contamination of food by broken light globe/tube glass.


There must be sufficient natural or mechanical ventilation to effectively remove fumes, smoke, steam and vapours. Mechanical ventilation must comply with Australian Standards.

Storage racks should not be fitted above cooking and heating equipment as they can obstruct the airflow.

Hand washing facilities

A dedicated hand washing basin, separate from other facilities and used only for that purpose, must be provided.

Warm water is needed for effective hand washing. Hot and cold water must be delivered through a single outlet to a dedicated hand basin.

Liquid soap and single-use paper towels must be provided at, or near, the hand washing facility.

To allow easy cleaning of hands and arms the basin should be installed at bench height, not under a bench. It should not be obstructed by other equipment and appropriately fixed to the wall. Ideally an impervious splashback should be installed behind the basin.

An additional dedicated sink is required for washing of reusable eating and drinking dinnerware and tableware.