Food stand bill received first committee hearing

The Health and Human Services Committee heard a proposal last week that would exempt from licensure any temporary food stands operated by youth under 14 years of age.  The food stands must be located on private property, take in $1000 per year or less, and if potentially hazardous food like meat is sold, post a sign that warns customers that the food is not inspected by the health department.

The bill echoes the story last summer of a Minneapolis teen and the hot dog stand he operates that was reported for health code violations. In that situation, the city stepped in to help the teen meet the necessary food safety standards and pay for his permit.

Supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of the state’s youth is an important way to empower them and help them build new skills.  However, there are some concerns because the proposal takes the approach of removing food safety standards instead of helping young entrepreneurs access the tools that will help them meet the standards. The bill passed out of the committee and will be heard next on the Senate floor. (SF77)