Street Eats, Safe Eats: Louisville







The Metro Health and Wellness Department in Louisville, which inspects all food establishments for potential violations, provided inspection data for 2010 through July 2013. In that time, the department conducted 34,500 inspections of food establishments, including mobile food vendors, restaurants and other establishments such as grocery stores, caterers and cafeterias. The department does not distinguish between food trucks and mobile carts, so they were analyzed together as mobile vendors.

Table 7 provides the average number of violations by establishment type.14 As the table shows, violations were rare across all categories of food service, and Louisville’s mobile vendors outperformed restaurants, as vendors averaged 1.9 total violations and restaurants 4.4.

Statistical analysis confirms the difference, as shown in Table 8. Results show that Louisville’s mobile vendors averaged fewer violations than its restaurants, and the differences were statistically significant.


Table 7: Louisville Food-safety Violations, 2010-July 2013*

  Average (Mean) Violations   Standard Deviation   Minimum   Maximum
Mobile Vendors      1.87 3.11 0 35
Restaurants 4.39 4.51 0 42
Other 3.44 4.08 0 40

*Data provided by Metro Health and Wellness Department and based on 648 inspections of 117 mobile vendors, 16,958 inspections of 2,540 restaurants and 16,894 inspections of other food establishments.


Table 8: Estimated Differences in Food-safety Violations, Louisville,
2010-July 2013 (Statistically Significant Results in Italics)*

Average Violations Compared
to Mobile Vendors
Rate of Violations Compared
to Mobile Vendors
Restaurants      2.44 more 128% more
Other 1.35 more 82% more 

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



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