Street food vendors face shutdowns amid issues with permits

Orange County city and health officials have shut down street food vendors on the sidewalks of Fullerton, claiming that these vendors did not have proper health or business permits.

As the officials confiscated their equipment, some of these vendors insisted that they have tried to do just that.

Peter Quezada said that he spent two years going through the process, which included food handling classes and paying for permits. Yet at the end of it all, Quezada was told that the city would only license him if he bought a food truck for his fish taco business.

For Quezada, that is an expense that he simply cannot afford.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Several street vendors shut down during Fullerton crackdown

But for the city, proper permitting is a matter of safety.

FOX 11 reached out to the Orange County Environmental Health and the department issued the following statement:

"At the request of the City of Fullerton, the Environmental Health Division collaborated with city officials to canvas sidewalk vending activities during the timeframe as stated. When a sidewalk vending food operation has unapproved equipment, unknown food sources, improper food handling practices, or does not have a Health Permit to operate, the equipment and food are removed in order to protect public health. Last night, as part of the standard approach, Environmental Health staff provided education to the food vendors on how to get a Health Permit to operate. Environmental Health has a dedicated Compact Mobile Food Operations website on information to assist food operators on how to get a permit. For permitting assistance, interested parties can contact the Environmental Health Mobile Food Program at or (714) 433-6416."

As for local restaurants in the area, they welcome the street vendors.

One restaurant owner said he doesn't see street vendors as competition because they set up at night, when his restaurant is closed. More importantly, they keep away vandals who are constantly trying to break into his business.

Local security guards agreed, saying that the bright lights and constant business that the vendors bring keep the "troublemakers away."

The street vendors said that they cannot get their equipment back from the city for 30 days, if at all.

But, according to the vendors, that won't stop them from working. After all, they too have families to feed.