Kern County Public Health reminds public to only buy food from vendors with valid permits

Posted at 12:50 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 15:50:52-04

The Kern County Public Health Services Department reminds residents to only purchase food from permitted food vendors.

Mobile food vendors and food carts have become increasingly popular, and those without valid permits may pose a public health risk in spreading food-borne illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

In Kern County, there are currently 103 food trucks and 252 food carts with permits to sell food. County and State law requires all mobile vendors to obtain the necessary permits in order to operate. Vendors are also required to meet specific food handling and safety standards set by The California Retail Code. This Code is set forth to prevent risk of food-borne illness. It includes maintaining proper hand washing stations, hot and cold temperature controls, measures to prevent cross-contamination, adequate food storage, and food handling training certification.

Members of the public can help prevent food-borne illness by only purchasing food from mobile food vendors displaying a current inspection decal issued by Kern County Public Health Department’s Environmental Health Division. This decal signifies that the vendor has passed all code requirements and is permitted to operate within Kern County. If you don’t see a decal displayed, ask the food vendor for a valid permit issued by the Environmental Health Division.