The Mecklenburg County Health Department has begun to monitor Beatties Ford Road on the weekends, looking for illegal food vendors.
At a District 2 Community Meeting on November 10, leaders from several neighborhood organizations complained that several dozen stands pop up every weekend along the Beatties Ford Road corridor. Staff representing the County's Environmental Health Division explained the process for obtaining a temporary permit to sell food. As a follow-up, staff visited the area on Saturday, November 12 and found quite a few vendors, including at least two that had no permit and were serving food without proper refrigeration, heat control or washing facilities. Health Department personnel instructed the vendors to shut down immediately and educated them about the proper procedures for getting a permit. Those same vendors violated City of Charlotte zoning regulations and could be subject to a misdemeanor citation.
The Health Department briefed the Board of County Commissioners Health & Community Support Committee on the street vendor issue Tuesday afternoon. Deputy Director Bobby Cobb thanked the community for bringing the issue to their attention. He said there are similar problems along Freedom Drive and Central Avenue. He said the food prepared by these pop-up vendors poses a health risk. Community leaders say the vendors also hurt the look of the neighborhoods
The Health Department has done training with CMPD officers so they recognize a violation and know what ordinance to site when writing a citation. The Health Department will continue to watch for vendors along Beatties Ford Road in the weeks to come as a way to discourage illegal vendors from coming back.