UPDATE: City Cautions Against Illegal Food Vendors at Weho Halloween Carnaval

Mayor Jeffrey Prang says unlicensed vendors are illegal in West Hollywood, but that the large amount of vendors during Halloween makes it difficult to find and cite each of them.

The City of West Hollywood Tuesday set out to warn Halloween Carnaval attendees to be cautious of buying food from unlicensed vendors, specifically hot dog vendors.

"Hot dogs and other foods purchased from unlicensed street vendors may present serious health risks to the public," the city said in a press release.

“Caution – Don’t Eat the Weenies!” posters will be pinned along Santa Monica Boulevard in order to warn visitors. 

  • What do you think about the city's "Don't Eat the Weenies!" campaign? Do you love street dogs?

“We urge Halloween Carnaval goers to patronize one of the many licensed food vendors or the fantastic restaurants the City has to offer during Halloween,” said Jeff Aubel, West Hollywood Code Compliance Manager, in a press release. “Eating a hot dog or other food from an unlicensed street vendor can be dangerous and is gambling with your health."

The city listed a number of reasons as to why attendees should avoid eating from unlicensed street vendors, including the use of unsanitary equipment, their limited access to clean water and limited hygiene facilities, the absence of refrigeration or temperature regulation of food products which can significantly increase the risk of spoilage of food products, and the high risk of consumption of foods containing bacteria, viruses and parasites that contaminate food and cause food borne illnesses

"There are many licensed food vendors at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval that do fully comply with all food safety regulations," read the city press release. "To identify a licensed food vendor look for a certificate issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that must be posted on the cart, trailer, or truck."

Wednesday, West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang said that unlicensed vendors are illegal in the city, but with the amount of people that attend the Halloween Carnaval, it is difficult to find and cite every unlicensed vendor.

"There are so many of these vendors that we can't keep up with them," Prang said. "Tonight, there will be hundreds of them. We do chase them. Last year, they confiscated dozens of them. But when they see the police coming, they run off.”

“They have spotters looking for the police and telling them when to run," Prang added. "They move around very, very quickly.”

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GoodGriefCharlieBrown October 31, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Which begs the question, why aren't illegal food vendors cited & removed from the streets? Or is there a double standard, one for local businesses, & one for itinerant food vendors who come to town to take advantage of a local event & peddle their potentially poisonous food & endanger others' lives with their contaminated concoctions? I'm sure they can forge a Dept of Health "certificate" just like they do any other document. Our laws have become meaningless, it's sameful the low point our society & culture have come to.
joninla October 31, 2012 at 09:39 AM
DOES THIS ALSO APPLY TO BEVERAGE VENDORS? Sealed water/soda/non-alcoholic ..... are they going to be banned as well?
Insider October 31, 2012 at 03:40 PM
GGCB: There's no down-side for illegal vendors (food and trinkets). WeHo Code Compliance doesn't ticket and Sheriff doesn't ticket. And yes, there's a double standard. Those with a business license get screwed and nobody in City Council cares.
WonderBoy November 02, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Get your license, play by the rules, and give me that weenie you wild, sexy sonuvabitch street vendor!
me November 02, 2012 at 07:13 AM
first off, i've never seen "hundreds of them" at this event....secondly, they really don't have the staff to enforce this???....i mean, cmon!!!!......the vendors are only going to set-up on high traffic streets leading to the carnaval area.....makes me think they didn't even try to enforce it......the posters were a dumb idea and attendees probably didn't read them, that is, if the vendors didn't tear them down first.....more crazy city ideas......seriously, who thinks up this stuff???
George November 05, 2012 at 07:56 PM
It's taking your life into your hands eating food from the roach/coach mobile food vendors.


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