Food Vendors Required to Possess Health Permits, Health Cards at Public Events

Vendors serve up food. (Jamie Leonard photo)
Vendors serve up food. (Jamie Leonard photo)

The public is advised that all vendors providing food and beverage at public events must possess a valid Special Event Health Permit issued by the V.I. Department of Health’s Division of Environmental Health. All food handlers must carry a current health card. Mobile food establishments with a current health permit are exempt from having an additional Special Event Health Permit, according to a release from the V.I. Department of Health issued Thursday.

Food Safety is critical to public health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 48 million Americans (one in six) get sick from foodborne illnesses, 128,000 of whom are hospitalized. Moreover, foodborne illnesses cost over $50 billion a year.

Foodborne illness is caused by consuming food or drink that is contaminated by germs. Perhaps, the food was not fully cooked or left out at room temperature. Perhaps, someone who handled the food was sick or had germs on their hands. Even the simplest errors in food handling can cause someone to get a foodborne illness, and when this happens to two or more people, it is called a foodborne outbreak.

If during an event, a food vendor is discovered to not be in possession of a Health Permit and/or Health Card, there’s a good chance of receiving stiff fines and an even better chance of having the operation of the booth, stall or food truck be interrupted.