Amid an increase in unlicensed food vendors, Yolo County warns residents of illness risk

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Following an increase in complaints regarding unlicensed food vendors in Yolo County, the Environmental Health Division there is urging residents to avoid buying food from those without permits.

The agency said in a news release that vendors in compliance will have a “prominently displayed” health permit along with a color-coded placard. Permitted food trucks and push carts will also have a permit sticker.

Green placard, pass

Yellow placard, conditional pass

Red placard, closed

According to the agency, eating foods purchased from vendors without the proper approvals may be unsafe because they are not inspected or otherwise regulated by Environmental Health for safe food handling and employee hygiene practices.

Experts caution that eating meals from such vendors could lead to food-borne illness with symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea.

Examples include grocery carts used as makeshift food carts and tents or tables set up in a parking lot, according to the agency. These types of operations aren’t permitted because they don’t have hand-washing stations or bathrooms and the food may have been made or stored in unsanitary conditions.

Operating a food business without a valid health permit can result in fines, penalties and prosecution, according to the agency, and is an “unfair business practice.”

Inspection reports can be found by searching at

To make a complaint or apply for a permit, call 530-666-8646 or visit the Environmental Health page at