Food Trucks

A Mobile Cooking Operation (MCO) is a vehicle, trailer or cart which cooks, sells, or distributes food when parked. Public safety is of utmost importance, so MCOs must get certain permits and approvals.

Some examples of MCOs include:

  • Food truck
  • Hot dog cart
  • Doughnut shack
  • Vending truck

Rules of Operation

Approval process
Food Handling Permit 
Food Handling Permits are issued by Alberta Health Services.
Mobile Cooking Operation Permit

There is no fee for a Mobile Cooking Operation permit. Once you have your permit, it must be displayed on the unit.

  • If you'd like to apply in person, complete the application and bring it in to City Hall.
  • Your application will be reviewed by a Safety Codes Officer, who will let you know if Trade Permits will be required for your unit. These must be completed by licensed contractors, with inspections to follow.

Apply Online Mobile Cooking Operation Checklist

Fire Safety

In addition to your Fire Safety Inspection, you must have an approved Fire Safety Plan in place.

Contact Fire Services Fire Safety Plan

Business License

Any Mobile Cooking Operation which operates outside the hours of a special event or market requires a Business License.

  • If you are only operating at a special event or market, contact the event organizer to ensure they have a valid special event or market license to cover all participants. If not, each MCO will require a Business License to operate.
  • You must have a Mobile Cooking Operation Permit and Fire Safety Inspection before applying for your Business License.

Business License Application

Annual Inspections

An annual inspection of Mobile Cooking Operations is mandatory. The City of Medicine Hat offers an opportunity for all operators of local food trucks to gather in one location for unit evaluations and applications. This "Food Truck Roundup" occurs in the spring of each year, and includes:

  • Alberta Health Services Inspections
  • Safety Codes inspections
  • Fire Safety inspections
  • Business License renewals

If you have made an application for a Mobile Cooking Operation with the City in the past, you will be automatically notified by mail, in advance of the inspection event.