Community outreach workers in the city of Long Beach distributed flyers to food suppliers to let them know about a new law that will go into effect Jan. 1 and could affect how they do business.
“We want to make sure we’re talking to them so they understand the change in law,” said Judeth Luong, chief of environmental health for the Long Beach Health Department.
Senate Bill 972 requires all sidewalk food vendors in California to obtain a health permit.
“We saw from complaints and investigations that many of them were operating without sanitation licenses,” Liang said.
Food truck vendors can now continue to operate in Long Beach, which has a Los Angeles County health permit.
“They were advised to get a Long Beach health permit,” Liang said.
The City of Long Beach will host a free workshop Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Admiral Kidd Park to help food vendors with the application process.
“The most important thing we want them to know is that we’re here to help them and to keep them informed about what’s going on,” said Teresa Marmolejo of Long Beach.
The type of license required depends on the type of food the vendor sells and can range from $200 to $285.
“Health and safety regulations can get very complex, so we want to make sure we have a service for roadside food vendors so they can get the licenses they need to operate a food business,” Luong said.
Customers like Libbie, who have not been further identified, work at the aquarium, appreciate the cheap fast food, and hope the new requirements won’t force suppliers out of business or away from the area.
“As a consumer, I love cheap food,” Libby said. “I don’t have time to go into these restaurants.”
The city of Long Beach said it will not shut down vendors without a license when the law goes into effect.
The city said it will continue to educate businesses but will take action if public health is at risk.
“If there is an imminent health hazard, we will discard food and embargo equipment,” Liang said.