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Kern County considers crackdown on unpermitted food vendors

Posted at 11:25 PM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 02:25:24-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County Board of Supervisors is mulling over a new ordinance presented by the Kern County Public Health Department which if approved would impose stricter health permit regulations on food vendors around town.

Public health officials said after receiving numerous complaints from the public and from local restaurant owners they decided to draft the new ordinance. The ordinance creates stronger penalties for food trucks and food carts who have not received a permit by the health department to operate.

"Right now all they're able to do is stop the food vendors, talk to them and ask them for their IDs which is a very difficult thing. they'll give you different names so when you go to give them a ticket, where are they gonna go? Nothing's ever going to happen with that," said Norma Diaz, the owner of La Rosa Fruit Bar and Ice Cream.

If a vendor does not have a permit the health department would be able to seize equipment, like food carts, until that vendor gets inspected and completes the permit process.

"They have a lot of rules so you go down to the health department and you get their layout of what they need you to do, and then you can get your permitting and your licensing and you go down to the city of Bakersfield and get a business permit, so there's quite a few things you need to do," Diaz said.

Public health officials saying their goal is to keep residents safe and healthy. The board will make a decision on the proposal later this month.