More than 100 street vendors in Santa Ana have been shut down for selling food “unfit for human consumption” and for lacking proper permitting, the city said Tuesday.
“While enjoying meals from street vendors has become popular, we cannot allow unsafe food conditions to endanger public health,” Mayor Valerie Amezcua said in a news release. “I applaud City and County staff’s efforts to protect our residents.”
The enforcement involved Orange County’s health department, Santa Ana police and code enforcement, and took place over the past six weeks, the city said.
The release did not mention any reports of people getting sick from the food.
Street vendors are ubiquitous in the Los Angeles area, often selling food and beverages outside live music venues, sports facilities, schools, and along busy streets.
They are required to obtain proper health permits under California law. For a variety of reasons, however, very few do.
“As part of the joint enforcement effort, it was determined that the sidewalk vendors did not possess the proper permit to operate, the food being sold and distributed was prepared and maintained outside the requirements of State standards,” the City of Santa Ana said in its news release. “When buying food from a street vendor, members of the public are advised to check that a health permit is displayed.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed SB-972, which makes it easier for street vendors to obtain permits. The law takes effect in January.
“This not only increases community health and safety, it also helps vendors formally enter the economy so they can build a successful business and better provide for their families,” the governor’s office says.