Street vendors cited for lack of hand-washing facilities, insects contaminating food, more

PALM SPRINGS — Sidewalk vending has grown in popularity in recent years and with the growth comes increased issues. Much of them deal with basic cleanliness.

The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health routinely inspects restaurants, food trucks, street vendors through unannounced visits. Eateries receive inspection grades ranging from “A” to “C.” Restaurants that fail to meet standards receive lower grades of “B” or “C” and can be shuttered temporarily before being re-inspected.

In most cases, restaurants return to compliance within a day or two. Still, others must prove that pest control and plumbing issues will not re-occur in order to stay open.

Six food vending operations were closed in the city of Palm Springs on the evening of May 20.

Here are the details:

  • Two shaved ice vendors, a tejuino vendor, two taco stands and a hotdog vending cart were shut down due to health infractions on May 20.
    Inspectors closed the shave ice stands, situated near the corner of San Luis Rey Drive and East Camino Parocela, for operating without soap or hot water for handwashing, according to the health department. No restroom was provided for the employees, and they lacked the ability to wash their utensils, inspectors noted. Both lacked an Environmental Health permit to operate.
  • The Tacos Los Olivarez taco stand, adjacent to a shaved ice stands, was also closed due to inadequate food protection from contamination. It lacked a proper handwashing station and restroom facilities, according to an inspector.

“The operation did not have adequate equipment to maintain potentially hazardous food in temperature properly,” the investigator wrote, noting multiple food items (salsa, carne asada, raw meat) with potentially hazardous internal temperatures. “Flies were observed contaminating the food, and the vertical broiler was observed to be located underneath a tree.”

The inspector noted a lack of overhead protection for food containers and the vertical rotisserie. The vendor was also operating without an Environmental Health permit, according to the food safety inspector.

  • Another taco stand (Taqueria Cesar Y Genesis) was closed for similar reasons, as was a tejuino beverage cart, investigators said.
  • And, a hot dog cart at the corner of East Arenas Road and South Calle Encilia was closed due to a lack of soap or hot water for washing hands and utensils and for not having a restroom for employees, according to the inspector. It also did not have a health permit to operate.


Image Sources

  • Food truck food: Greater Palm Springs