The following definitions may be referenced along with the definition of a Food Establishment as defined in the Food Code (TFER).

Mobile Food Unit (MFU) - a term used in the Texas Health and Safety Code to describe ALL TYPES of permitted mobile food establishments mounted on a vehicle.  This is synonymous with the term Mobile Food Establishment used in the Texas Food Establishment Rules.  The term Mobile Food Unit is used by NET Health to describe a single mobile food establishment regardless of its type. 

Types of Mobile Food Units (MFU)


Process 2 Type Foods

Limited Package Mobile Food Unit  – Process 1 Type Foods

Examples of food offered: Packaged Ice Cream, Single Serving Size Packaged Snacks, plate lunch wrapped at Commissary. (We would include the Limited Package Trucks in this group). This is a Low to Medium Risk Category. NET Health Mobile Food Unit Types that fit this category are: Limited Service (Restricted) Mobile Food Unit, and Roadside Vendor)

Full Service Mobile Food Unit – A Mobile Food Unit that prepares opened foods and beverages onboard the vehicle.

Process 1 Type Foods

Examples of foods prepared = coffee, snocones, deli sandwiches, salads, Kettle Corn, Raw Shrimp, Nut Roasting

Process 2 Type Foods

Examples of food offered = Hot dogs, Grilled Sandwiches, Hamburgers, Soups.

Process 3 Type Foods

Examples of food offered: full menu, food items could be: pulled pork, sushi, chicken salad made from shredded chicken, undercooked animal proteins and more. This is a High Risk Category. NET Health Mobile Food Units that fit into this category are: Full Service (Unrestricted) Mobile Food Unit)

Fixed Food Establishment (FFE) -  

A Food Establishment operating in a permanently constructed structure permitted and approved for the purpose of storing, preparing, serving, packaging, or otherwise providing food for human consumption at the retail level for the ultimate consumer. Fixed Food Establishment does not include a Temporary Food Establishment or Mobile Food Unit.

Central Preparation Facility "Commissary" and Servicing Area -  A facility that is an approved and permitted as the operating base location to which a mobile food unit returns regularly, a minimum of once daily, for such things as vehicle and equipment cleaning, discharging liquid or solid wastes, refilling water tanks and ice bins, advanced preparation, stocking supplies and parking when not in operation.  "Commissary" Central Preparation Facility is a permitted food facility that acts as the base of operations for a mobile food unit. A central preparation facility provides necessary facilities that cannot be provided by the mobile food unit. These services include storage of food, paper goods and supplies, a place to dispose of garbage and grease. A central preparation facility provides a place to fill fresh water tanks and dispose of waste water. It provides a place for overnight parking when the unit is not in operation and provides electrical outlets to support equipment while parked at the commissary. It may provide a place to do some or all food preparation. The services provided will depend on the needs of the mobile food unit.

Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food (TCS) 

means a food or beverage that requires time or temperature controls to limit pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin growth. Refer to the TFER or FDA Food Code for the complete definition. Formerly termed “Potentially Hazardous Food”.

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