BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
UNPERMITTED FOOD VENDORS
Long Beach Bureau of Environmental Health works to safeguard public health and ensure food provided to consumers is safe, unadulterated, and honestly presented. Our goal is to prevent the public from becoming ill with a foodborne illness (sometimes called "foodborne disease," "foodborne infection," or "food poisoning"). Food industry operators obtain a health permit, not only to comply with California State law but also to ensure that their operations and equipment meet applicable requirements to protect the public they serve.
Roaming food vendors, or those stationed on our city’s streets may provide different, interesting, or unusual food not found in local restaurants or markets. Operators who sell or give food away
to the public are required by California State Law to obtain a health permit from the local health agency (exemptions may apply). The City of Long Beach Bureau of Environmental Health
offers different categories of health permits based on the type of food and method of operation.
Once approved, food vendors receive a printed permit as well as a decal (sticker) that can be
posted and should be visible on their truck, cart, stand, or other mobile food operation. The
permit must be renewed annually. A different colored decal is issued each year, making it easy
to see if the operation has been approved for the current year.
Food vendors that do not have a health permit are not inspected and monitored for food safety.
Some conditions which would prevent a vendor from obtaining a health permit could include:
- No access to clean, running water for food workers to wash their hands and utensils
- No restroom for food workers to use
- No protection from insects, dirt, bird droppings, people coughing, sneezing, or touching the food
- No means of keeping food hot or cold
- Not knowing if the food was cooked to adequately kill pathogens (harmful bacteria and viruses)
- No means to know if food ingredients came from a safe source, where they are made, who prepared it, and in which way it was kept
- Use of non-commercial equipment that has not been inspected for cleanliness, safety, sanitation, and functionality
- Lack of basic food safety knowledge
- Inability to properly dispose of grease, food waste, and trash
- Lack of an approved location to properly clean large utensils and equipment
- Lack of proper identifying signs to provide business contact information to the public
Consuming food and drinks from unpermitted vendors can put you and your family at risk of illness. Only consume food and drinks from permitted vendors.
COMMON FOOD POISONING SYMPTOMS
If you or someone you know have foodborne-related symptoms after consuming food from
Long Beach Health Department