Health department concerned about parking lot food vendors

The Bear River Health Department is receiving an increase in the number of reports of individuals selling home-prepared foods from their vehicles in business parking lots. Home prepared foods that are sold to the public are not inspected by the Health Department or the Department of Agriculture. Therefore these agencies cannot assure proper food handling or protect the health of the consumer. State law prohibits the sale or distribution of home-prepared foods to the public for this reason.Improperly prepared and handled foods or prepared foods that are not kept at specific temperatures to prevent the growth of bacteria can cause life-threatening illnesses. Vehicle trunks, coolers, etc. are not able to meet the temperature control requirements to protect the health of the consumer and may lead to food borne illness.These illnesses may include food poisoning due to staphylococcus or more serious infectious diseases such as Hepatitis A, E coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and botulism. Symptoms of these illnesses can range from vomiting and diarrhea to kidney failure and death. “Food borne illnesses can be easily prevented by learning how to properly handle and prepare food.” said Dr. Redd, Deputy Director for the Bear River Health Department. “When we prepare food for our families we should understand the principles of safe food handling and when we prepare food to be sold to the public we need to follow state law that is in place to protect the public’s health.”To protect your health and the health of your family, please purchase prepared foods only from permitted establishments or from people with temporary food handler permits. Anyone interested in preparing and serving foods to the public may contact the Bear River Health Department at 435-792-6500 to learn how to obtain a permit or for more information.

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