The menu is an integral part of the plan review process. The menu or a listing of all of the food and beverage items to be offered at the mobile food unit must be submitted by the applicant with the submission of all other plan review application documents.
A mobile food unit that has a large rotating menu cycle, may provide a representative listing of the types of items served. As with the inspection process, the plan review process focuses on the food and what will happen to the food. The source and quantity of food to be served will be reviewed along with the preparation at the central preparation facility and post preparation storage, transportation and service operations and the proposed storage practices.
Food preparation processes will be evaluated to determine the types and volumes of foods to be prepared. Special attention is given to the review of complex food processes, which will involve:
- Multiple ingredients being assembled or mixed
- Time/Temperature Control For Safety Food (Potentially hazardous foods)
- Foods that will be prepared or held for several hours prior to service
- Foods requiring cooling and reheating
- Multiple-step processing (passing through the critical temperature zone, 135ºF to 41ºF more than once).
The style of food service will also be reviewed. The style of food service may be cook-to-order (cookserve), self-service, service of pre-packaged foods, service of large volumes of food, food preparation requiring multiple steps and handling, etc.
Menu evaluation involves the review of food sources, categories of foods and their required preparation, such as:
- Approved and inspected food source
- Thin meats such as poultry, fish, eggs, hamburgers, sliced meats, and fillets
- Thick meats and whole poultry (roast beef, whole turkey, whole chickens, and hams)
- Cold processed foods (salad, sandwiches, vegetables, etc.)
- Hot processed foods (soups, stews, casseroles, etc.)
- Bakery goods
This system is useful since the critical control points for each process remain the same regardless of the individual menu ingredients. The menu for a mobilefood unit dictates the space and equipment requirements for the safe preparation and service of various food items. The menu will determine if the proposed receiving and delivery areas, storage area, preparation and handling areas, and thawing, cooking, and reheating areas are available and adequate to handle the types and volumes of foods being served. With a proper understanding of the menu, the plans for mobilefood units can be reviewed to assure that the food items proposed can be protected during the service operation.
*Consumer Advisories are required for food establishments serving undercooked raw animal products.*