New ordinance relating to food vendors

The Sweetwater Jaycees Rattlesnake Round-Up is approaching fast, bringing many food vendors to town. Individuals and organizations cannot sell food to the public without a county health permit as required by State and County law. A new ordinance went into effective last November requiring all food vendors to renew permits yearly. This means food vendors at the Round-Up must fill out a new permit application prior to their inspection. “If you plan to sell food, you must first contact the Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department (SNCHD), located at 301 E. 12th to request an application and pay an annual fee,” said Linda Kite, Public Health Promotions Coordinator for the SNCHD. “Following the application, the temporary food vendor establishment must pass an inspection.” A temporary food vendor is a food establishment that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration. All temporary food vendors should have a copy of their last inspection form visible to customers — this is proof that they are permitted. The public can help prevent unpermitted individuals and organizations from selling food by asking if they are permitted before they buy from them. “You take a risk of getting a food-borne illness when you eat from vendors that are not permitted,” said Kite.For more information, contact Don Ware or Linda Kite at 235-5463 or come by the health department. Their website is, under the Environmental Health section.