Toronto Council Votes to Expand Hot-Dog Cart Menus

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TORONTO — Toronto City Council has adopted amendments to by-laws regarding street-food vendors. The amendments, pending approval by the Medical Officer of Health, permit hot-dog cart operators, to expand their menus offering customers more than just hot dogs and sausages.

The new guidelines — which only apply to stationary carts — were unanimously approved by council and allow food-cart vendors to sell new items, including soup, coffee, tea and a number of pre-cooked and pre-packaged foods.

While most street-food vendors like the modifications, others say they can’t afford to expand their menus. However, in a Toronto Star story, street-food advocate Darcy Higgins, said many vendors are eager to add culturally diverse offerings. “We’re pretty confident public health will allow lots of different types of foods to finally be sold.”

The new rules mean street-food operators can sell new items, as long as they’re pre-cooked and approved by Toronto Public Health. There are vendors already selling unique foods from their mobile businesses. According to a story on TorontoFoodTrucks.ca, Marianne Maroney sells pre-cooked wild-game sausages, ribs and baked potatoes from her cart located at Mount Sinai Hospital.

The list of potential new menu offerings includes: pre-packaged cut fruits and vegetables; whole fruits and veggies (including corn on the cob); pre-packaged fruit salad; precooked veggie burgers; bagels with individual serving containers of butter, margarine, peanut butter or jam; nuts and seeds and pre-packaged tabbouleh.

Approval of the new amendments indicates city council is eager to free up street food rules. Higgins, with help from his colleagues in the industry, plans to propose further changes to city council this winter.

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