Salmonella Scare Doesn't Slow Boston Food Truck Business

Customers say they still trust food trucks to be safe
Wikimedia/Monika M. Wahi

Earlier this month a salmonella outbreak and food violations prompted Clover Food Labs to shut down all the Boston area's Clover food trucks, which were some of the most popular vendors in Boston's thriving food truck scene. But the news does not appear to have damaged the business at other trucks in the area.

“Eating in public, eating food you didn’t prepare yourself, is a crapshoot. It just is," said tourist Wade Vaughan to the Boston Globe, who spotted him buying his lunch from a food truck. "I don’t bother thinking about it. I just love the concept. We live in a mobile era.”

There was some concern that the Clover shutdown would scare customers away from all food trucks, but while some customers said they were concerned about whether a food truck could be as clean and sanitized as a brick and mortar restaurant, most people still trust their food trucks.

“I admit when they were new, I was more reticent and often wondered how they could be kept clean, how instruments and equipment could get sanitized, and things like that," said food truck patron Leslie Ford. "But as they grew and became more popular, it became pretty clear to me that they were very well run, and very well organized.”

Chef and restaurant consultant Ben Shimamura told the Boston Globe that a certain risk comes with eating at any restaurant, but he didn't consider the risk to be higher if a restaurant happened to be on wheels.

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“I’m absolutely convinced that these trucks — all of [them] in general — are every bit as safe as any restaurant," he said. "And I have no special worries about food safety or sanitation. I’ll keep eating at them as long as they’re around."