Starting in January 2022, new health and safety rules and license requirements take effect for food cart pods. This applies to anyone (owner or lessee) who allows 2 or more food carts to park continuously on a property in order to sell food or drinks.
You must apply for this license if you already have a food cart pod or plan to open a new one. If you are remodeling a cart pod, please contact us to see if a plan review is needed.
If you have a food cart, you do not need to apply for this license. But you may need to work with the pod operator to make changes to comply with new rules. For example, moving your cart in order to comply with a new setback rule.
The new rules shift some responsibilities for basic sanitation, health and safety from those who run food carts to pod operators.
Food cart pod operators are responsible for:
- Safe drinking water (You do not have to supply it, but you must make sure all carts at your site use it.)
- Wastewater disposal and spill control plan
- Garbage and recycling
- A plan to control rats and pests
- Spacing carts and structures 5 feet apart (setback)
- Power utilities
These requirements are covered in more detail in the plan review application.
A food cart pod license may not be transferred to someone else or to a different location.
Good to Know
Before you get your license from us, there may be other agencies that you need to get approval from. These include, but are not limited to:
- Planning (zoning)
- Building codes (structural, electrical, plumbing, prefabricated structures)
- Fire marshall
- City or county authorities
Refer to this list of agency contacts for food carts»
Get a License
Submit plans for review. Send us completed plan review and license applications and fees.
We’ll review your plan, and within 15 business days send you a letter either approving or denying the application. If we deny it, you’ll have a chance to make needed changes.
Schedule your inspection. You can do this once your plan is approved. You should complete this inspection within 30 days from the date on your approval letter.
You must pass inspection before we can issue your license. For a new pod, you must get and pass an inspection before any operations start.
After the initial licensing inspection, we will make unannounced inspections twice a year.
Plan review - $580
License, based on the number of carts:
- 2-9 carts: $405
- 10 or more carts: $540
Licenses are good for one calendar year. Renew your license every year by paying the license fee by January 1.
Multnomah County Environmental Health
847 NE 19th Avenue, Suite 350
Portland, Oregon (Map)
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am - 4:30pm