Street Eats, Safe Eats: Las Vegas






Las Vegas

The Southern Nevada Health District, which inspects all food establishments in Las Vegas, provided inspection data from 2009 through July 2012. In that time, the agency conducted 84,816 inspections of food establishments in Las Vegas, including trucks, carts, restaurants and other establishments such as grocery stores, cafeterias and food processors.

Table 3 provides the average number of violations by establishment type.12 As the table shows, all categories of food service had few violations, and both Las Vegas’ food trucks and carts outperformed restaurants, as trucks averaged 3.3 violations, mobile food carts—hot dog stands and other sidewalk carts—two, and restaurants seven.

Statistical analysis confirms these differences, as shown in Table 4. Results show that Las Vegas’ food trucks and carts averaged fewer violations than its restaurants, and the differences were statistically significant.

Table 3: Las Vegas Food-safety Violations, 2009-July 2012*

  Average (Mean) Violations   Standard Deviation   Minimum   Maximum
Food Trucks 3.27 4.88 0 31
Restaurants 6.99 6.78 0 89
Carts 2.05 3.62 0 46
Other 4.39 5.08 0 100

*Data provided by the Southern Nevada Health District and based on 494 inspections of 163 food trucks, 42,611 inspections of 8,670 restaurants, 1,993 inspections of 602 carts and 39,718 inspections of other food establishments.



Table 4: Estimated Differences in Food-safety Violations, Las Vegas, 
2009-July 2012 (Statistically Significant Results in Italics)*

Average Violations 
Compared to 
Food Trucks
Rate of Violations 
 Compared to 
Food Trucks
 Average Violations 
 Compared to 
Food Carts
Rate of Violations 
Compared to 
Food Carts
Restaurants 3.58 more 108% more 4.71 more 237% more
Other 1.09 more 31% more 2.22 more 111% more

*Results listed derived from OLS and Poisson regressions. Full regression results can be found in Appendix B.12



12 The number of violations here is actually the number of reported demerits, where more severe violations receive more demerits.


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