Mobile Food Units

A mobile food unit (MFU) is an operation where the food service establishment is readily movable; this includes mobile food trucks, trailers, and carts. All mobile units must have a commissary kitchen (unless they meet the exemption criteria in RCW 43.20.148), and commissary agreements need to be submitted annually. 

A commissary kitchen is an approved, permitted food establishment where food is stored, prepared, portioned, or packaged to be served somewhere else. This ensures that food safety requirements are met. The MFU must return to the commissary kitchen at a regular frequency, as determined during the plan review process. At least one of the annual routine inspections will be conducted at the commissary to demonstrate moveability of their MFU. Mobile operators are now required to document their presence at the commissary on a log and maintain the log for one year. The logs must be stored onboard the MFU for review during inspections.

Mobile Food Units that have not been inspected and approved for use by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries will not be permitted by the Snohomish County Health Department. Please visit the L&I Food Trucks & Trailers and Food Truck Label web pages for more information.

Instead of an annual permit sticker, there is now a 1-time sticker that will be placed on mobiles, by the inspector, showing that the mobile food unit has been approved to operate by the Snohomish County Health Department. All MFU operators must also post their annual operating permit so it can be easily seen by customers during operation.

Mobile sticker picture

List of Currently Permitted Mobiles

TURNAROUND TIMES

  • CheckApplicationStatusOur current estimated timeline for completing a food plan review is 12 weeks. Exact turnaround times are dependent on the number of applications submitted and may be longer.

We are not accepting expedited applications at this time.

Mobile Plan Review Process

New MFU’s will need to complete the full Mobile Food Unit Plan Review Application Packet (PDF). There are four main steps to mobile plan review.

  1. Plan
  2. Approval
  3. Inspection
  4. Permit

1. Submit plans 
All items listed on the Food Establishment Plan Review Checklist, including the nonrefundable plan review fee, must be submitted to the Snohomish County Health Department. 

Use the Mobile Food Unit Plan Review Guide (PDF) or the Spanish Mobile Food Unit Plan Review Guide (PDF) to lead you through the process.

We accept applications in person, by mail or online.

Food_ApplyOnline

Snohomish County Health Department
Attn: Food Section Plan Review
3020 Rucker Avenue
Suite 104
Everett, WA 98201-3900

Mobile Food Unit Fees

Plan review fees

New mobile food unit$855.00
Change of ownership$430.00
Revision to approved plan (i.e. changing commissary kitchens)$215.00
Reinspection after first pre-operational inspection$215.00
Mobile approval by reciprocity (must meet requirements listed below)$0.00

Annual Permit Fees

Low risk annual permit$420.00
Medium risk annual permit$630.00
High risk annual permit$870.00


MOBILE PERMIT RECIPROCITY

Mobile food units which are already permitted in another county, meet the criteria in RCW 43.20.148, and wish to become permitted in Snohomish County must submit the following items to the Snohomish County Health Department. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

  • Provide a completed Snohomish County Health Department annual permit application.
  • Provide a copy of your current annual operating permit from the primary county.
  • Provide a copy of the completed, approved plan review from the primary county.
  • Provide a copy of the most recent routine food safety inspection report for the mobile food unit performed by the primary county. The most recent routine inspection must have zero cited violations. 
  • If applicable, provide a copy of any commissary agreements the applicant is required to maintain under the permit from the primary county.
  • If applicable, provide a complete restroom agreement letter if the mobile food unit will be serving from a single site longer than 1 hour.
  • Upon approval, submit payment for annual permit fees with the Snohomish County Health Department.

You must work with your primary county to ensure that all required documentation is included. If these requirements cannot be met, you must apply as a new mobile food unit for review by the Snohomish County Health Department.