Illegal Food Vendor Sting in Washoe County

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Their wares might look tempting, but the Washoe County Health Department says beware: if you buy food from a street vendor who doesn’t have a permit, you might be getting more than just a snack.

On Friday night in Reno, health officials conducted an illegal food vendor sting throughout the Truckee Meadows. Officials say their search for illegal vendors is all to protect people's health. Miguel Ribera Park on Neil Road is one of several areas that was patrolled by the Illegal Vendors Task Force. The health department says it has received several complaints about illegal vending, and it didn’t take long to find someone without a permit.

They found one woman near Miguel Ribera Park. And when they took a look at her cart, they found a problem: there was no way she could easily wash her hands. With her cart, the health department says it's also concerned about mayonnaise in the sun, where ice being used for snow-cones came from, and the temperatures of food. Officials say if the proper temperatures aren't maintained, people could become sick.

The woman was given an application to become a legal vendor. Legal vendor's carts were also inspected to make sure they met health requirements. Warnings were handout, and anyone who is caught is second time, will end up in court and face a fine of up to $1,000.

In all, four illegal vendors were stopped during Friday night’s sting.

Joe Harrington, KOLO 8 News Now