Reno-Sparks, Nev. Feb. 8, 2022. The Washoe County Health District (WCHD) is responding to numerous complaints of unpermitted street food vendor operations in Washoe County. WCHD’s staff will be on location investigating these complaints to determine compliance with current food safety regulations and practices.
“Our main goal is to ensure public health and safety and prevent customers getting sick from foodborne illnesses, which may occur if food is not properly stored or handled,” said Erin Dixon, Division Director for Environmental Health Services at WCHD. “We are asking for the vendors cooperation to obtain the proper permits and equipment they need to safely operate to reduce the risk to the community and limit the need for us to issue citations and shut down operations.”
Response to the complaints received found that many were Hispanic food vendors operating without a permit serving the Latino community.
To assist food operators such as street food vendors obtain permits, WCHD is hosting a Spanish Townhall meeting to provide valuable information about how to obtain a permit, and to hear from the Hispanic community about how WCHD can assist them.
The Townhall will be taking place Thursday, March 3, 2022, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., via video conference, Facebook Live and in person at the Washoe County Commission Chambers, 1001 E. 9th St., Building A, Reno, NV 89520.
The Health District Food Safety Program is required by law to ensure food operators and establishments in Washoe County comply with food safety regulations, such as: proper handwashing, monitoring food temperatures and proper cleaning of serving utensils. Staff conduct annual inspections of food establishments including restaurants, food manufacturers, and routine inspections at temporary food establishments and mobile food operations to determine compliance with current food safety regulations and practices.
In July 2021 WCHD issued notices of violation and cease and desist orders to six local food operators for unpermitted food operations and violations of basic food safety regulations. The six operators were selling sliced fruit, whole fruit, tacos, beverages and shaved ice without a permit at temporary, pop-up locations along busy streets.
Residents and food establishments should monitor and report any symptoms of foodborne illness like e-coli, salmonella and listeria which include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and bloody stool that can lead to hospitalization and may also lead to additional complications and chronic health problems. Reports can be made by calling (775) 328-2434.
To find the latest inspection results for all permitted food establishments in Washoe County on the go, download our Washoe Eats App (On Google Play or Apple App Store. For food complaints in Washoe County, see more information here.
For more information, visit our website here.
The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.