County cracks down on unlicensed food vendor

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

In late July, a local food vendor was found to be noncompliant because he was operating without a food permit or license. The vendor was set up on private property near the Jones County Fairgrounds during the week of the fair. 

After repeated attempts to notify the vendor and inform him of the steps that could be taken to become compliant, the Jones County Supervisors and Jones County Public Health have now taken steps to seek an injunction that the 

owner cease from operating his business until he becomes licensed. County Attorney Kristofer Lyons is following the Jones County Public Health directive of wanting this food vendor to comply with the law. The recent course of action was discussed during the Nov. 6 board of supervisor meeting. Supervisor Wayne Manternach and Lyons recently met with Jones County Environmental Health Director Paula Hart and Linn County Public Health officials on the matter. Lyons said there is various courses of action the county could take to address a food catering business that is operating without a license. “Public Health reached out several times with letters,” Lyons said. “He’s (the owner) taken no steps to get licensed. There’s been no follow-up at all.” Lyons said a sting operation is one option, but one he would not favor. The other option is to file for a permanent injunction with district court “until he’s in compliance with the code.” Supervisor Jon Zirkelbach inquired as to whether the owner was still advertising his catering/vendor business. “Yes, absolutely,” said Lyons. Lyons also clarified that the county does not want to shut someone’s business down, but simply wants him to comply with the law. “We would do this with any business or restaurant,” added Manternach. “He’s had plenty of opportunities to respond and he hasn’t,” said Supervisor Joe Oswald. “He’s had since July,” Manternach said. Further, Manternach said if a food vendor is not licensed, then who’s responsible if something happens or people get sick. 


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