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PA Food Truck Explosion May Lead To Change In MN Standards

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(credit: CBS) Nina Moini
Nina Moini joined the WCCO-TV team in August of 2013. She reports f...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s food truck businesses are revisiting safety measures after a dangerous incident in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

A mother and daughter working inside a Philadelphia food truck were critically injured, and at least 10 others were hospitalized after an explosion.

Police say the propane tank that exploded was four-feet long, and officers found what remained of the tank about 150-feet away.

Fire investigators in Philadelphia are looking into what caused it to explode.

Minnesota Food Truck Association President John Levy said Wednesday he wants to change the best practice safety standards for his organization to include a daily inspection of propane tanks.

“We just formed a national food truck association, and when we heard about this accident actually we were all on the phone with one another,” Levy said. “[Food trucks are] a growing trend and it’s really wonderful. It creates jobs in Minnesota.”

Levy said about 80-90 percent of active food trucks in the Twin Cities are members of this association. Organizations that inspect food trucks and the frequency of inspections can vary depending on the county or city.

According to the City of Minneapolis, food trucks in Minneapolis are inspected by the Minneapolis Health Department when annual licenses are renewed.

Fire Inspection Services also inspects the trucks and the setup of the propane tank at the time of license application.

Once the trucks are operating, they are subject to random inspections on an annual basis and re-inspected if critical violations are found.

The Minnesota Health Department is in charge of inspecting food and cleanliness in some cities and counties, including Ramsey County.

The Minneapolis Health Department inspects the city’s food trucks and officials say the process is similar to how conventional restaurants are monitored.

Officials say annual or semi-annual inspections are common, but restaurants considered “high-risk” – those that deal with lots of raw meats – could be inspected more often.

Any businesses with past violations are also checked more often.

Levy says the Minnesota Food Truck Association will consider new recommendations regarding propane at its meeting on Tuesday.

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