Street vendors struggle with licensing issues
Fullerton’s street food vendors are battling health and business licensing issues.
FULLERTON, California. – City and Orange County health officials shut down street food vendors on Fullerton sidewalks, saying those vendors did not have proper health or business licenses.
While authorities confiscated their equipment, some of these sellers insisted that they had tried to do so.
Peter Quezada said he spent two years going through the process, which included food handling classes and paying for permits. Yet in the end, Quezada was told the city would only grant him a license if he purchased a food truck for his fish taco business.
For Quezada, it’s an expense he simply can’t afford.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Several street vendors closed their doors during the Fullerton crackdown
But for the city, proper permitting is a matter of safety.
FOX 11 contacted the Orange County Environmental Health Department and the department released the following statement:
“At the request of the City of Fullerton, the Environmental Health Division worked with city officials to review sidewalk vending activities during the designated time period. When a sidewalk food operation has unapproved equipment, unknown food sources, improper food handling practices, or does not have a health permit to operate, the equipment and food are removed in order to protect public health. Last night, as part of the standard approach, environmental health staff provided training to food vendors on how to obtain a health permit to operate. Environmental Health has a dedicated Compact Mobile Food Operations website with information to help food operators obtain permits. For assistance, interested parties can contact the Environmental Health Mobile Food Program at EHMobileWholesale@ochca.com or (714) 433-6416. “.
As for local restaurants in the area, they welcome street vendors.
One restaurant owner said he doesn’t view street vendors as competition because they set up at night when his restaurant is closed. Most importantly, they keep away vandals who are constantly trying to break into one’s business.
Local security guards were of the same opinion, saying the bright lights and constant business the vendors bring in keeps the “troublemakers away.”
Street vendors said they would not be able to get their materials back from the city for 30 days, if at all.
But, according to sellers, this will not stop them from working. After all, they too have families to feed.