Los Angeles City Council may urge state to make food code more inclusive for street vendors – NBC Los Angeles

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday will consider calling on the state to create a more practical system for including sidewalk vendors and regulating their operations, including the California Retail Food Code.

The proposal was introduced by councilwoman Nitya Raman, who said: “The number of food vendors in Los Angeles to whom permits have been issued—only 165 out of an estimated 10,000 in our city—speak volumes as to the prohibitive nature of current state and county food.” Rule.

“As a result, our vendors are forced to work informally and face the threat of quotations, fines and confiscation of vehicles and goods constituting their livelihood. We call upon the State to implement structural solutions. which can empower street food vendors to fully and formally participate in the economy,” he added after presenting the proposal on September 28.

On August 11, the UCLA School of Law Community Economic Development Clinic and the non-profit law firm Public Council released a report that found that despite laws enacted in 2018 in Los Angeles and California to legalize street vending, most Sellers face the dangers of tickets and fines. Everyday.

The report “Unfinished Business: How Food Regulations Starve Sidewalk Vendors of Opportunity and What Can Be Done to Finish the Legalization of Street Food” – which Raman cited in his resolution – included testimony from sidewalk vendors and claimed the system punished them. When the sheriff’s representative issues the ticket and confiscates the card, which deprives them of their livelihood.

According to the report, people applying for a food vendor permit from Los Angeles County have to navigate an English-only process involving multiple offices and a number of required documents, stating that applicants must have sufficient information during the process. Assistance is not given. Only 165 permits have been issued since the city began issuing permits in 2020. The report estimates that there are about 10,000 eligible vendors working in the city.

The report notes that startup costs for those selling unpacked meals are at least $10,000, plus $5,000 in annual fees, while many employees make only $15,000 per year on average.

Vendors also have to meet equipment standards designed to regulate large food trucks and include requirements for integrated multi-compartment sinks, plumbing, ventilation, refrigeration, and high-capacity food storage.

According to the report, food carts that meet these requirements cost thousands of dollars, are heavy to push and are too large for normal sidewalks.

The California Retail Food Code prohibits cutting fruit, reheating prepackaged food, or keeping warm at fruit stands and taco stands, the report said.

“The problem stems from a tangled web of state, county, and city laws that deny sidewalk vendors permission to sell food legally, hurting all Angelenos by undermining food safety principles and sabotaging seller dreams of entrepreneurship. denials, which the law claims to protect,” said report co-author Scott Cummings of UCLA’s Community Economic Development Clinic.

“Even as local officials make it easier for brick-and-mortar restaurants to conduct outdoor dining, we see them continue to vigorously implement a system that smacks of LA’s Famous Street. operates as a de facto ban on food.”

Raman’s proposal calls on the state to implement the report’s recommendations to make health compliance more viable for street vendors:

  • To provide a streamlined process for inspection and approval of trains;
  • Including reasonable standards that enable fruits and vegetables to be cut, safely reheated, and foods heated on common sidewalks;
  • reduce sync requirements; And
  • Expand access to safe food preparation.

The full report is available here.

The city council will consider the resolution in its meeting at 10 am on Tuesday. People can watch here.


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