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Food Truck Work Environment - Hazard Assessment

Identifying and assessing air quality and physical hazards for food truck workers

  • United States

    United States

Understanding and characterizing occupational hazards

Food trucks are everywhere, showcasing the talents of enterprising chefs. The convenience, fun food, and great prices bring people together, but there can be hidden hazards for food truck workers. While worker exposures in stationary kitchen environments are understood, occupational hazards faced by food truck workers are largely uncharacterized. Our ChemRisk team sought to fill this research gap by characterizing hazards associated with the food truck work environment.

We performed a screening level assessment to better understand potential air quality and physical hazards posed by this emerging industry. Using direct reading instruments, we conducted an occupational hazard survey to evaluate carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide concentrations, ultrafine particles, temperature, relative humidity, and noise inside a food truck. We also performed a qualitative hazard survey to characterize physical health and safety hazards.

As a result, we identified heat stress, work with hot surfaces and sharp objects, and exposure to ultrafine particles and carbon monoxide from fuel sources as potential hazards to food truck workers—and shared these findings with the scientific community and general public.

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