A Mobile Food Unit (MFU) is a self-contained, movable food establishment that serves or sells food to a person and can be either a trailer, truck, or pushcart. MFU permits are only issued at the EPH office to observe mobility and functionality of the unit. To minimize wait time, applications for new MFU should be made in advance either online or in person.
If you are a new owner of a MFU, follow these step to obtain a permit from EPH:
- Submit to the EPH in office or online:
- Online Application
- Once the application if filled out, an email will be sent to you with your establishment number and a link to pay the $125 Plan Review fee.
- Plan Review fee
- Plan Review fees are non-refundable. Please ensure Harris County Public Health is your regulatory jurisdiction before the fee is paid. Harris County Public Health’s regulatory map can be found here. Keep in mind, city jurisdictions may not allow MFU to operate inside their limits.
- After the Plan Review fee is paid, EPH will call within five business days to schedule the permitting inspection appointment.
- Document Submittal - All documents must be submitted together and include the establishment number on all correspondence. To streamline the process, email all documents to email@example.com no less than 3 business days before the appointment. Failure to provide current copies of all documents will result in a re-inspection fee, failed inspection, and re-scheduled appointment.
- The owner’s current Texas Driver’s License(TXDL) or US identification (Military ID, Texas, ID, US Passport, or Work Visa)
- If the owner does not have a TXDL provide:
- A Certified Food Manager certificate for an employee of the establishment
- A State of Texas Sales Tax Permit Taxpayer ID. Contact the Texas Comptroller at www.window.state.tx.us or 1-800-252-5555
- Valid vehicle registration for truck or tow vehicle and trailer (if applicable)
- Valid vehicle insurance for truck or tow vehicle
- Copy of the menu
- If the MFU will operate at a location for more than 2 hours:
- Mobile Unit Inspection Appointment - After the Plan Review fee is paid, EPH will call within five business days to schedule the permitting inspection appointment. During the appointment, the MFU will be inspected by EPH staff and a Harris County Fire Marshall. All equipment on the unit must be functioning at the time of the inspection. If a generator is needed to operate the equipment, it must be brought to the inspection. The owner must be present with his/her current/valid TXDL. If the owner does not have a TXDL, the owner must bring current photographic identification issued by the State of Texas or United States agency and the driver must be present with his/her TXDL.
- Permit Payment – Once the application is received, the operator must purchase the permit and affix the mobile unit medallion to the unit. Current commissary receipts must be kept on the unit during all hours of operation.