Denver cracks down on unlicensed food vendors

Denver cracks down on unlicensed food vendors

Hot dog vendor in downtown Denver (Denver Department of Taxation and Licensing)

DENVER (KDVR) — The city of Denver is dealing with a recent increase in unlicensed vendors outside of concerts and sporting events.

An April 29 video shows Denver Police Department officers arresting an unlicensed vendor selling hot dogs.

According to police, officers asked several unlicensed vehicles to leave, and everyone complied except for the man seen in the video. When officers tried to cite the seller, he tried to move away from the officers and resisted arrest, police said.

He faces charges of:

  • License required
  • Providing false information
  • Resist any police authority

“They will likely face enforcement action, and we view that as a last resort,” said Eric Escudero of the Denver Department of Taxation and Licensing.

Escudero said their goal is to educate people about the importance of food safety and how to get a license.

“If you see these hot dog vendors, these unlicensed ones operating illegally, you’ll notice they don’t have any refrigeration for these hot dogs or this bacon,” Escudero said. “They’re not using gloves, they’re not using sanitary practices like a hand-washing station, and there’s often unsafe use of propane. Those are big concerns for us.”

Hot dog seller
Hot dog vendor in downtown Denver (Denver Department of Taxation and Licensing)

Photos provided by the city show a vendor serving food outside Coors Field during the home opener. Photos show sausages and bacon unrefrigerated and stored near the floor. The woman serving the food does not wear gloves and does not have a proper hand washing station.

“In Denver, we want to make sure the food is safe, so you go out and get a hot dog after a game and you’re not playing Russian roulette with your digestive system. We want people to be healthy,” Escudero said.

To obtain a license, Apply online on the city’s website. There is a one-time $150 application fee and an annual fee ranging from $75 to $100, depending on your setup. The license comes with a required inspection from the Denver Fire and Health Department.

Food vendors must show their licenses. According to the Denver Department of Taxation and Licensing, there are currently 101 businesses licensed to operate a food truck in Denver.

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