Merry Christmas: Cops and Health Department confiscate carts from hot dog vendors in Union Square

Friday almost looked like normal Christmas in San Francisco: The famous Union Square Christmas tree twinkled in front of Saks Fifth Avenue, and a group of skaters circled the rink. Ahead, posted in front of Macy’s and its “Believe” decorated Christmas tree on Geary Street, four bundled up Latinx hot dog vendors toasted onions and sausages and music in Spanish. Then, a phalanx of about eight cops and agents from the Ministry of Public Health descended on them.

At around 1:42 p.m., a group of at least six police officers and two employees from the Department of Public Health reported the hot dog vendors at Macy’s after they could not produce the appropriate permit, then put in at least impound a man’s cart.

In the past two weeks, the health ministry had visited suppliers to check their licenses and distributed brochures in English and Spanish on how to get one, a health ministry employee said on site. . He noted that even after these warnings, the department had not received any calls and that the Mayor of London Breed had asked the department to enforce the laws against those who were unlicensed. He added that all other inquiries should be directed to the ministry spokesperson.

Our messages have not yet received a response.

As the group interviewed each vendor, an apparently responsible Department of Health employee wrote reports and pasted white “impounded” stickers on the cart. He told them they could operate again once they got a license. It costs $ 168 to renew a license for a mobile food facility, according to the Department of Public Works. It costs A third person who appeared to be from the Ministry of Health translated the information into Spanish.

The brochure read, “Sidewalk vendors who sell perishable food must have a sanitary permit before they can legally and safely begin their sale. He listed that images of unclean food can lead to bacteria and illnesses like diarrhea; a photo on the back titled “Unapproved Sidewalk Sale” showed close-ups of hot dogs on grills. For comparison, the brochure featured photos of approved refrigeration and cooking units.

Inside, numbers for the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Public Health, the Fire Department and the Office of Small Businesses were included.

One by one, three salespeople rushed over. When asked to comment, one told Mission Local in Spanish: “Sorry, no. They told us to go, so we go.

“There’s one more,” said an officer, referring to the fourth vendor across Geary and located closer to Neiman Marcus.

After questioning the last seller and realizing he didn’t have a license, they handed over a flyer which he scanned for awhile. A Public Works Department employee grabbed a transparent trash bag and emptied a box of unused hot dog buns, throwing them in the back of a truck. Then he rolled the man’s cart, with sausages still sizzling on the grill and a “supplied” sticker now labeling the front. There were two coolers full of ice and soda that two other vendors were using moments before.

Within minutes, the crowds of city workers were gone, leaving the last salesman to laugh incredulously with bottled water. He too refused to speak.

“Anyone want some water?” He called the Macy’s buyers, chuckling weakly.

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