City plans crackdown on unpermitted food vendors ahead of Super Bowl

The city of San Francisco hosted Super Bowl 50 in February, 2016 as a throng of players, fans and the media descended on the Bay Area to participate in the festivities.

San Francisco health officials will be cracking down on unpermitted food vendors as thousands of visitors descend on the city for Super Bowl 50 festivities next month.The Super Bowl will be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 7, but there will be numerous celebratory events in San Francisco surrounding the game.

The city already has issued permits to 300 food trucks and 50 food carts, but in case some upstart food vendors decide to try to sell to Super Bowl crowds without a permit, city officials are warning them they'll need
permits too or face consequences.

To give everyone who wants one a permit to sell food during the Super Bowl, the city's Department of Public Health will hold two informational town hall meetings at its offices at 101 Grove St. The first
will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. and another will be held Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. Health department officers will be patrolling areas where Super Bowl 50 events are planned and will shut down vendors without a permit.

Permits require the food vendors to meet standards for food handling and safety set by the state, such as keeping proper hand-washing stations, hot and cold temperature controls, measures to prevent cross-contamination and adequate food storage, city officials said.

Vendors not following those standards could spread food-borne illnesses to Super Bowl event attendees. "Hosting Super Bowl 50 events in San Francisco will draw thousands of visitors who will eat, drink and enjoy our city," city health director Barbara Garcia said in a statement. "Our top concern is people's health and safety. We don't want anyone getting sick when they are here to enjoy the festivities surrounding a great game.

Vendors also must follow parking, sidewalk and fire code requirements. The fire department will also be inspecting vendors to make sure they are safely operating cooking equipment, such as stoves burning
propane or butane.

City officials encourage consumers to only purchase food from vendors displaying a current city inspection decal. Anyone who gets sick from a food vendor is encouraged to report it by calling 311 or going to the