2218 Avenue H
Fort Madison, IA 52627
Environmental Services is responsible for food and lodging in Lee, Henry, Des Moines, and Van Buren counties. Environmental staff conducts inspections and handles licensing for restaurants, taverns, grocery/convenience stores, hotels, farmer's markets, temporary events, mobile units, schools, and vending machines.
Food trucks are officially known as "mobile units" or "push carts" depending on the structure and intended use of the unit. Summer is a popular time for mobile units, and we receive many questions about how the regulations apply to these establishments. Mobile units are broken down into four groups based on the unit's menu.
Class 1: Non-refrigerated vending units.
Class 2: Refrigerated or hot vending units
Class 3: Potentially and non-potentially hazardous packaged food and unpackaged food with limited assembly.
Class 4: Potentially and non-potentially hazardous foods that are prepared, cooled, cooled, reheated, and assembled on the unit using precooked and/or raw products.
There are different requirements for each group,
as well as basic requirements for all units. You can learn more about these groups and the requirements by viewing the Mobile Food Unit Operation Guide.
Find the guide here: Mobile Food Unit Operation Guide
As the weather gets warner, the season for temporary events will be in full swing. LCHD wants to make sure all seasonal food vendors who require a license get one prior to operating for the season to avoid penalties and closure.
The fee for a temporary license is $33.50. Applications must be submitted with payment at least 3 business days before the event. A license is valid for 14 days in conjunction with a single event. Those granted a license will be subject to inspection from LCHD.
You need a license if...
*For information on nonprofit exemptions review our exemption flowchart, or contact our office with questions.
Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 481--30, "Food and Consumer Safety"
Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 481--31, "Food Establishment and Food Processing Plant Inspections"
Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 481--34, "Home Food Establishments"
Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 481--35, "Contractor Requirements"
Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 481--37, "Hotel and Motel Inspections"