Video shows inspectors throwing away food from cart of Fresno vendor

Nico Payne Image
ByNico Payne via KFSN logo
Friday, September 23, 2022 10:35PM
EMBED <>More Videos

Video of a teenage food vendor went viral after a confrontation with Fresno County health inspectors.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It may be a common site to see food vendors outside of popular concerts and sporting events in the city of Fresno.

However, there are rules when it comes to selling that food -- and if vendors don't follow them, they could be cited.

That's what happened to 16-year-old Edgar, who attends high school in Bakersfield and traveled to the Save Mart Center to make money after the Christian Nodal concert.

"As I understand, it's either the Save Mart Center or the County of Fresno took it upon themselves to initiate enforcement against the mobile food vendors at the Save Mart Center after a Mexican concert," says Councilmember Miguel Arias.

City leaders explain that this goes against what the city of Fresno has been striving for in recent years.

"The city of Fresno has been investing in mobile food vendors, giving the security cameras, getting them their business permit," Arias said.

But the Fresno County Environmental Health division warns eating from unpermitted street vendors can be dangerous.

"The goal of the county health department is to make sure that we protect the public, but also as well, when you think about all the vendors out there that operate appropriately with licenses, if you have other vendors that come in that don't follow these same rules, they're taking business away," says Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig.

In this instance, Edgar was not the only vendor cited that night. A spokesperson for Fresno County tells Action News seven other vendors were cited for not having permits.

While the price of getting a city permit is only $14 and a county permit is $30, it's the equipment that costs vendors the most money.

"The county of Fresno has such stringent requirements for hot water, cold water, refrigeration, in these small units, that cost can be up to $5,000 per unit," Arias said.

But councilmember Arias says those strict rules are about to change with new state legislation passed this summer that will make it easier and less costly for vendors to obtain permits.

"These concerts provide a significant amount of alcohol and sometimes, not the right cultural culinary food for the population that they're attracting," he said. "These vendors wouldn't be here if there wasn't a demand from the general public to buy their product."

In the meantime, the city of Fresno will be stepping in to help, not only providing brand new equipment, but a business license and health permit, so if Edgar chooses to, he can work in Fresno once again.

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Edgar.

The City of Fresno also says they will be gifting him brand new equipment and the necessary permits to sell food. Live from the Save Mart Center, NP ABC30 AN.