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More Food Trucks Pulling Into Amarillo?

AMARILLO - More food trucks could be coming to Amarillo, but safety is on the menu first.

Starting tomorrow, the city is set to discuss food safety and sanitation policies with the community and workers in the food industry.

For some time now, it has been understood that in order to have a food truck in Amarillo, you had to have a brick and mortar restaurant attached to it.

It's this guideline the folks at El Giro has followed.

"It's my duty to know the rules and to follow them," said Gerardo Ruiz, the CEO of El Giro. "It's something that everyone, every restaurant, every food place needs to do for their own good. "

This principle they have followed could be changing; opening the door for stand-alone food trucks in the city.

"There is no ordinance. It's really an internal department policy," said Shaun May of Amarillo's Environmental Health Department. "Certainly before I got here, for many many years, from what I understand, it's not in the ordinance. It's not in the rules, it was really a local decision by the person running the department before me."

May said it has been 17 years since the city comprehensively updated their food safety ordinance.

So in a series of meetings, the city's environmental health and water utility department plan to discuss proposed ordinance changes regarding food safety.

"I just really think that this is an updating, an evolution of the way we view these trucks. I think there's a great opportunity here in Amarillo for it so, I want to engage the public to see how they feel about this," said May.

If you would like to join in the conversation, the first meeting is tomorrow, August 18, at the Amarillo Civic Center Heritage Room B, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Another meeting will be held on Saturday, August 19, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The last meeting is Wednesday, August 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

May told us in the meeting that they also plan on discussing how to showcase a restaurant's health rating, whether with a letter grade or a percentage out of 100, rather than just showcasing demerits.

After the meetings, May said he plans to take the feedback to the city council.


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