El Dorado County launches campaign to raise awareness of roadside vendors
El Dorado County has started a campaign in response to an influx of roadside vendors in the area.
“In most instances, roadside dealers are not selling produce that is locally grown, or in compliance with basic local and state food safety requirements,” El Dorado County Agriculture Commissioner Charlene Carveth stated in a press release.
Risks from roadside produce include consuming food that is not in compliance with safe handling, pesticide, refrigeration, packaging and labeling requirements, the release stated. Pest importation and spread may also occur in roadside vendor operations which have eluded compliance inspections. Illegal vendors also impair the ability of local growers to offer safe, healthy produce through legitimate means such as certified farmers markets.
A coalition of public and private organizations including the County of El Dorado, Sheriff’s Office, Agriculture Department, Environmental Management Division, City of Placerville, El Dorado County Farm Bureau, and the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce has launched the “Protect Local Growers Campaign.” Over the next several months, organizations will be coordinating resources to help bring awareness of the risks of roadside produce operations, and ultimately enforcement against violators, the release stated.
“We want to educate the public about the risks of purchasing produce from illegal roadside vendors, and in doing so protect the law-abiding local growers in our community,” Farm Bureau Executive Director Valerie Zentner stated in the release.
Residents are asked to call the county hotline at 530-642-4968, to report suspected illegal roadside vendors.