SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- More than 100 street vendors in Santa Ana have been shut down for selling unsafe food and operating without a proper health permit, the city announced.
Residents can find the PeakOsito food truck on the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Fifth Street in Santa Ana almost every day, serving a steady flow of customers.
They take pride in giving people another food option when eating out, and doing it the right way. Their permits to operate are displayed for everyone to see. However, not everyone is doing so.
Alvaro Nuñez, Santa Ana's assistant director of planning and building, oversees the city's code enforcement. He said code enforcement has shut down over 100 street food vending pop-ups in the past six weeks.
Nuñez said some of the food was unfit for human consumption and being served to unsuspecting customers.
"We found that some of the food was raw. The way it was being maintained, the heat apparently that the stuff they were using, the stove or the Al Pastor rotisserie, wasn't hot enough to cook thoroughly," Nuñez said.
He said the food at these locations was impounded and thrown out.
"While enjoying meals from street vendors has become popular, we cannot allow unsafe food conditions to endanger public health," Mayor Valerie Amezcua said in a statement released by the city. "I applaud City and County staff's efforts to protect our residents."
Amezcua said California law limits local governments from regulating or banning sidewalk vending altogether, so they want to work with people who want to follow the rules.
"We support any kind of good business. We just want to make sure the public's health safety is paramount," Nuñez added
The city will continue to inspect street food vendors to ensure they are operating safely and with the proper health permits.
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