SNHD: Don’t buy food from unpermitted Las Vegas street vendors

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 11:45 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - As the number of large sporting events, concerts, and festivals continues to grow in Las Vegas, so does the chance to make money from hungry fans. Street vendors who sell food outside on the sidewalk at places like Allegiant Stadium or the Strip are eager to make sales, but the Southern Nevada Health District warns about buying from unpermitted vendors. Their warning is not just about the safety of the food, they are also concerned about the safety of the people selling it.

Hot dogs carts have set up shop after Raiders game. Instead of paying a premium for a burger inside the stadium, hot dog carts outside games charge a fraction of the price for food but the Southern Nevada Health District warns they may not be permitted, and they can’t verify the safety of their food.

SNHD telling FOX5:

SNHD warns eating food from unpermitted vendors can make you and your family sick. They add by purchasing food from unpermitted vendors, you may be enabling human trafficking. SNHD says during routine investigations into unpermitted vendors, the Health District and local law enforcement uncovered street vendors sold into slavery by handlers or ‘coyotes’ who illegally bring them to the United States. The victims reportedly were as old as 88 years old and as young as 13 years old.

“Our main mission is to stand up for immigrant families, low-income families,” Jose Rivera with Make the Road Nevada, a nonprofit organization based in Las Vegas, told FOX5.

Rivera says they want to see education for unpermitted street vendors rather than enforcement campaigns.

“Local authorities such as LVMPD, Southern Nevada Health District they do show up and they start confiscating stuff from these vendors. We understand the importance of having these vendors licensed while selling products but… regardless of licensed or non-licensed, they are human beings and they have the right to try and make ends meet and bring funds to their house,” Rivera contended.

According to SNHD, unpermitted vendors include any person selling any type of food without a health permit and business license. This can occur from a residence, a vehicle, a shopping cart, a table in a park, or on a street corner. With the exception of swap meets and farmers’ markets, street vendors are illegal everywhere in Clark County.

Clark County tells FOX5 there have also been reports of food carts popping up on the Strip and say it is illegal to operate such business there. They have been conducting enforcement related to unlicensed vendors.

FOX5 reached out to LVMPD about enforcement. They say it’s a matter of business licensing.