Los Angeles County Public Health Department officials conducted checks of street food vendors last week with help from Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies in the Crime Prevention Unit, officials said.
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More than 30 vendors were contacted to make sure their permits were up to date and they were following applicable laws, said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
Public Health officials spent several hours Tuesday and Saturday inspecting carts, trucks and other mobile food retailers for violations.
“We assisted the (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health) in this operation in response to numerous concerns from Santa Clarita Valley residents, which were shared with both agencies,” Dubin said, noting the health inspections were done at random locations during both days.
There were no arrests made as a result of the health inspections. Food carts operating illegally, whether the operation is without a permit or found to be in violation of a health code, are seized and the owner-operator is given an administrative hearing in front of Street Vending Compliance Program officials.
Deputies helped county officials confiscate 10 food carts operating illegally, Dubin said.
There were a total of 12 citations handed out, according to county health officials.
County officials look for conditions including: no potable hot water for hand or equipment cleaning, food from unapproved sources, no refrigeration, dirty or unapproved equipment and food being held at unsafe temperatures, among other potential violations.
“The Street Vending Compliance Program is made up of 10 inspectors who investigate complaints from the public,” according to the Street Vending Compliance Program website. “Due to limited resources, the size of county, and the number of complaints received each day, it may take some time to address each complaint, but every single complaint will be investigated.”
The violations are often associated with food-borne illnesses, according to county documents, which note that nationally, there are more than 76 million cases of food poisoning each year, and about 325,000 of those cases result in hospitalization.
If you suspect a food vendor is operating illegally, officials ask you contact the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at 213-240-7821.
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Source: Santa Clarita News