Maryland Register

Issue Date:  October 12, 2018

Volume 45 • Issue 21 • Page 986-988


Title 10 

Subtitle 15 FOOD

10.15.03 Food Service Facilities

Authority: Health-General Article, §§18-102, 21-101, 21-102, 21-211, 21-234, 21-301, 21-304, and 21-308; Annotated Code of Maryland

Notice of Proposed Action


     The Secretary of Health proposes to amend Regulations .02.25, and .28 under COMAR 10.15.03 Food Service Facilities.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this action is to create consistency with licensing, inspection, and enforcement of the mobile reciprocity license among the local health departments as required by H.B. 771 (Ch. 216) and S.B. 262 (Ch. 215), Acts of 2017. Specifically, this proposal will:

(1) Define new terms related to mobile reciprocity licenses;

(2) Clarify the requirements for the operation of a mobile food service facility, including the establishment of a base of operations; and

(3) Add language concerning the issuance and enforcement of a mobile reciprocity license by local health departments.

Comparison to Federal Standards

There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.


Estimate of Economic Impact

I. Summary of Economic Impact. The proposed action will include in regulations the mobile reciprocity license established in Health-General Article §21-304, Annotated Code of Maryland. The reciprocity license eliminates the need for a separate plan review and associated inspection in each jurisdiction in which the mobile food service facility is licensed. Additionally, a limited number of mobile food service facilities have operated without a base of operations that meets the requirements of COMAR 10.15.02. These mobile units will be required to establish a base of operations; mobile units not seeking a reciprocity license will be given until May 1, 2020 to comply.



Revenue (R+/R-)


II. Types of Economic Impact.

Expenditure (E+/E-)




A. On issuing agency:


B. On other State agencies:


C. On local governments:









Benefit (+)
Cost (-)




D. On regulated industries or trade groups:








E. On other industries or trade groups:


F. Direct and indirect effects on public:


III. Assumptions. (Identified by Impact Letter and Number from Section II.)

C(1) and (2). The fee for this license is set by each individual local health department and cannot exceed $300. The net economic impact is indeterminable, as the licensing fees are set by local health departments.

D(1) and (2). Mobile food service facilities currently operating without a base of operations would be required to establish a base of operations by May 1, 2020. The Department estimates this would apply to approximately 157 operators. The Department estimates the cost to establish a base of operations ranges from free (e.g. use of church kitchen) to $1,500 per month (e.g. high-end incubator kitchen space rental). A survey of 223 full-time single-truck vendors from California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Oregon found that 85 percent of vendors made over $100,000 per year and half made over $150,000. At $150,000 per year, $750 per month for a commercial kitchen rental would be 6 percent of revenue. The program notes that 90 percent of mobile food service facilities are already successfully operating with a base of operations.

Economic Impact on Small Businesses

The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.

Impact on Individuals with Disabilities

The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.

Opportunity for Public Comment

Comments may be sent to Michele Phinney, Director, Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination, Maryland Department of Health, 201 West Preston Street, Room 512, Baltimore, MD 21201, or call 410-767-6499 (TTY 800-735-2258), or email to, or fax to 410-767-6483. Comments will be accepted through November 13, 2018. A public hearing has not been scheduled.

.02 Definitions.

A. (text unchanged)

B. Terms Defined.

(1)—(7) (text unchanged)

(7-1) “Base of operations” means a licensed facility in Maryland that is used by the owner or operator of a mobile food service facility for food storage, potable water, safe disposal of waste and sewage, and, if necessary, utensil washing.

(8)—(17-2) (text unchanged)

(17-3) “County of origin” means the county in which the base of operations of a mobile food service facility is located.

(18)—(46) (text unchanged)

(46-1) “Mobile reciprocity license” means a license issued to a mobile food service facility that:

(a) Is operating in the jurisdiction;

(b) Is operating within 90 miles of its base of operations; and

(c) Holds a valid license from the county of origin.

(47)—(86) (text unchanged)

.25 Special Food Service Facilities.

A.—B. (text unchanged)

C. For a special food service facility that is a mobile unit, the person-in-charge shall ensure that:

(1)—(3) (text unchanged)

(4) Potable water tanks are used to provide water for hand washing and, where applicable, for food preparation and utensil cleaning; [and]

(5) Wastewater tanks are used to hold wastewater pending disposal at a facility in a manner that conforms with State and local laws, regulations, and ordinances[.];

(6) Subject to §§C(7) and (8) of this regulation, a base of operations is established that provides:

(a) A source of potable water, potable water hoses, and clean connections;

(b) A method for the disposal of sewage;

(c) Clean, adequate, and covered trash receptacles;

(d) A storage area for single serve food items; and

(e) If necessary:

(i) Refrigerated and dry food storage areas; and

(ii) A utensil washing facility.

(7) For a mobile food service facility not seeking a mobile reciprocity license, a base of operations as set forth in §C(6) of this regulation is established by May 1, 2020;

(8) A base of operations is not required for a mobile food service facility that offers only prepackaged frozen desserts;

(9) A valid license from the county of origin is maintained; and

(10) Compliance is maintained with all applicable State and local laws and regulations in the jurisdiction in which it is operating.

D.—H. (text unchanged)

.28 Licenses.

A.—I. (text unchanged)

J. A local health department:

(1) Shall issue a mobile reciprocity license:

(a) In accordance with Health-General Article, §21-304, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(b) To a mobile food service facility that:

(i) Holds a valid license from the county of origin;

(ii) Is operating in the jurisdiction; and

(iii) Is operating within 90 miles of its base of operations.

 (2) Shall provide copies of inspection or other supporting documentation for a mobile food service facility with a base of operations within the jurisdiction of the local health department to the jurisdiction in which the mobile food service facility is seeking a mobile reciprocity license;

(3) May inspect the mobile food service facility during operation in the jurisdiction after a mobile reciprocity license has been issued;

(4) May suspend a mobile reciprocity license for not maintaining a valid license from the county of origin until such time that the county of origin license is renewed;

(5) May issue a violation of this regulation as set forth in Regulation .35 of this chapter; and

(6) Shall notify all known Maryland jurisdictions which license the mobile food service facility if:

(a) Any fines are issued to a mobile reciprocity licensee; or

(b) Enforcement action is taken against a mobile reciprocity licensee under §J(3) of this regulation.

K. A mobile reciprocity license:

(1) May not exceed $300; and

(2) Is valid for a period of 1 year.

Secretary of Health