Crackdown on produce wholesalers

first_imgThere are 10 produce wholesaling complexes throughout the county, and 25 stand-alone operations, said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of public health. Tony Bell, a spokesman for Supervisor Michael Antonovich, said consumers could receive dirty produce coming from unhealthy distributors. “Supervisor Antonovich initiated the restaurant grading program, we were able to restaurant by restaurant ensure that the public had an opportunity to make an informed decision about where they should eat to protect the public health,” Bell said. “Now we’re learning that it’s not only at the point of sale that the consumer needs to be protected, it’s also earlier in the food chain at the produce distribution sites (where) the county is responsible for ensuring the public safety,” he said. A representative from the Associated Produce Dealers and Brokers of Los Angeles could not be reached for comment. In the wake of revelations of unsanitary conditions at a produce wholesaler in Los Angeles, county supervisors moved Tuesday to step up enforcement of wholesalers countywide. Supervisors said they were troubled by the conditions shown on a KNBC (Channel 4) report on the downtown 7th Street Produce Market, which supplies restaurants throughout the county. The board voted unanimously to ask the public health director to report back in 15 days on recommendations for improving the licensing, inspection and enforcement of wholesale produce facilities. The board also asked for a plan to deal with the 7th Street Produce Market, which has dozens of individual vendors in one location. “Certainly we probably should say to the public that they should be very, very careful when they get produce,” Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke said at Tuesday’s meeting. “Don’t take it for granted that it might be clean.” [email protected] (661) 257-5253 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img