How Many Sinks Do You Need In A Food Truck?

Check out how many commercial sinks you need for a food truck to comply with state regulations

How Many Sinks Do You Need In A Food Truck?

Having the right equipment in a food truck is essential for preparing and serving food to the public and helps towards having a well-run operation. One bit of equipment, in particular, that helps you achieve this is sinks and having the right number is important.

So if you have landed on this article you may be wondering how many sinks do I need for a food truck?

Most state regulators in the US, require food trucks to have a total of four sinks fitted – One for handwashing, and a separate 3-compartment sink for washing utensils, which needs to be done in a specific order. In the UK, regulations differ slightly where local authorities require a minimum of 2 separate sinks for handwashing and the cleaning of cooking equipment.

The article goes into a bit more detail below and covers things like the correct order for using each three-compartment sink; the steps you need to take to clean cooking equipment properly; and what you need to have in place with handwashing sinks.

What is the correct order for using a three-compartment sink?

3 compartment sinks are split into separate sections in order to perform specific tasks when cleaning cooking equipment properly, which are Wash, Rinse and Sanitize.

Sink 1Wash

The first sink is used to wash equipment that has come into contact with any cooked or uncooked foods, such as chopping boards, knives, containers that have held food in, and any other related cooking equipment.

The sink needs running warm water at a minimum temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit

Sink 2Rinse

The second sink is used for rinsing all the equipment you have washed in the first sink. Again the temperature in this sink needs to be a minimum of 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sink 3Sanitize

The third sink is to soak the cooking equipment in a chemical sanitizing solution, which has been washed and rinsed in sinks one and two. Alternatively, you can use hot water at 171 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter if you don’t want to use sanitizing chemicals.

Related articles:

What are the steps when using a 3-compartment sink?

Whilst there are only 3 sinks, there are actually 5 steps you need to take to clean cooking equipment properly, in order to be FDA-compliant.

Step 1.

Get rid of any leftover foodstuffs from containers and/or equipment that has been used for serving or preparing food.

Step 2.

Use the first sink to wash the equipment in warm soapy water (minimum temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit).

Step 3.

Transfer the washed equipment to the second sink and rinse with warm water (minimum temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit).

Step 4.

Transfer the equipment from the second to third sink to soak in a chemical sanitizer for the amount of time stated on the sanitizing bottle. If you are using hot water (171 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter) submerge the equipment for a minimum of 30 seconds.

Step 5.

The final step is to dry all the equipment with a clean cloth to avoid cross or open-air contamination.

Handwashing sinks

In any type of commercial food operation that deals with preparing and cooking food for the public, there need to be the correct facilities for handwashing.

Here are a few things you need to do to comply with handwashing sink regulations:

  • The handwashing sink has to be completely separate from the three-compartment sink used for cleaning equipment
  • Handwashing soap and paper towels must be available to properly clean and dry hands
  • The sink must have running hot and cold water up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The handwashing sink must be clearly signed
  • Handwashing sinks cannot be used for any other purpose

Related articles:

Key Takeaway

In order to comply with state food regulations for a food truck, you need to have a total of four sinks. One sink for handwashing and a separate three-compartment sink for washing the equipment that has been used for preparing and cooking food.

The correct order for using a three-compartment sink for washing cooking equipment is the following:

  • Sink 1 for washing
  • Sink 2 for rinsing
  • Sink 3 for sanitizing

There are also five steps involved when using a 3-compartment sink which are:

  • Step 1 – getting rid of foodstuff
  • Step 2 – Wash equipment with soapy water
  • Step 3 – Rinse with warm water
  • Step 4 – Soak in sanitizer or hot water
  • Step 5 – Dry the washed cooking equipment


Gavin D is the founder of Street Food Central and Tru Foo Juice Bar Co. and has worked in the mobile catering industry for over 7 years.