Shanghai: Street Food Vendors May Be Legalized

Source: Shanghai Daily

STREET food vendors will be allowed legally for the first time so long as they meet sanitary and management conditions, according to the city’s latest draft of food safety regulations.

Street vendors have long operated without licenses and repeated crackdowns have had little effect in stopping them as the demand for fast and cheap snacks remains strong around the city.

The draft, which is still being discussed by lawmakers, allows street vendors to set up stalls provided they have permission from district or town governments at designated places and during designated times. It encourages the vendors to operate outside markets or stores.

Shanghai People’s Congress Deputy Zhang Ling said yesterday that legalizing street food vendors will lead to better food safety management.

The street food vendors need a health certificate and must provide qualified food packages or containers, and disinfectants they use must not harm people’s health. Stalls have to be at least 20 meters from toilets and refuse dumps, and 100 meters from schools, the regulation said.

The regulation also bans street vendors from selling raw food.

Vendors face fines up to 500 yuan (US$76.46) and will have their equipment confiscated if they disobey the regulation.

Lawmaker Hu Yanzhao opposed legalizing street vendors, saying they would bring more pollution and adversely affect the living environment of residents who live nearby.

Hu also expressed concern about the safety of food served by street vendors.