‘Metal Box Heated From The Inside’: Food Truck Workers Battle Heat

"Hotter summers are making it increasingly difficult to keep cool in what are ‘basically like little ovens’ as staff battle discomfort".

"As tortillas warm on the grill at Los Pookies – an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based food truck best known for its birria tacos – a swamp cooler blasts cool air and extractor fans try their best to suck the heat out of the metal trailer.

But when temperatures in New Mexico hit the 100s in early July, owner Luis Dominguez says, the fans didn’t feel like enough: so he completely removed the food truck’s front window. Unlike air conditioning, swamp coolers, which use fans and water to create chilly air, actually perform better with increased circulation. Dominguez hoped taking out the window and opening the trailer’s back door would let in more fresh air and improve ventilation for his staff.

“We’ve done everything we can,” said Dominguez. When his employees have a moment between customers, they step out of the food truck and gulp down bottles of water and Pedialyte. But, “it is very hot in the food truck. We have the grill going, the fryers going and it is metal walls all the way around. So it’s basically like a little oven.”

In the three-and-a-half years that Los Pookies has been open, Dominguez says, all of the summers have been hot. But he can’t remember one this bad."

Cecilia Nowell reports for the Guardian August 5, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 08/09/2023