Thank you for the update, however, not surprised by the response.
*There is confusion as to why LA County is the only county that does not
allow “community event” designation pre-packaged products to continue to be
made available at CFMs. *
The confusion is in the labeling of the term "community event." My
perception of a community is a festival, swamp meet, block party, church
event, political rally. Never once I ever thought that a CFM would be
associated with the term of a community event. I love the term ancillary
vendors this is what CDFA uses I believe if this verbiage was to be used in
the future confusion wouldn't be assumed. Ancillary vendors are valued
component to today's CFM product mix that have essential foods that fall
under the category. Giving the excuse of not having prepackaged and even
some prepared food vendors cause it is assumed that having these types of
vendors promotes lingering at the markets is a weak excuse, if given the
choice vendors would've been creative on keeping their operations going to
suit their needs to make money, and money is a great motivator. And we as
operators would've enforced social distancing measures as set forth.
*Refunds for TFF permits:*
I agree and it should be an automatic and small resolution to the vendors
that are affected, in fact there should be 3 to 6 month moratorium of
permit fees for vendors returning to their markets.
*DPH Inconsistencies *is valid observation because they are a flawed system
and always has been when it comes to the CFM's operation not all DHP
offices run the same as they claim that they do. Similar to not all CFM's
run the same either, due to location and product mixes offered at the
various markets. As an operator I've just tolerated for so many years the
inconsistencies the rudeness of behavior by some of DHP officers at certain
offices. And their attitude as being as if some officers are put out of
processing health permits and operators permits to field officers making up
their own rules and regulations on-site at markets causing interruption
in commerce when it's not warranted.
I as an operator I have to keep readily at my side *CALIFORNIA RETAIL FOOD
CODE *Excerpt from CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE DIVISION 104.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PART 7. CALIFORNIA RETAIL FOOD CODE booklet I even
have our on-site market manager to keep a copy on their smart phones for
reference. DHP officers and office staff are employed to serve us as
operators and to serve the public and to protect which means enforcement
but by through the means of support by educating and being consistent to
the rules of which are given. Instead I have received and my on-site
market managers and vendors on-site have been threaten, talk down to and
intimidated, as if DHP officers are the police to which they aren't this
has been the experience again with some of DPH of the County of Los
Attached is a photo of a market that ran today and they practiced social
distancing and had all the essential of food of bread, hummus, pressed
juice, almond butter, salsas and chip, and two prepared food vendors that
was selling their food to-go and frozen. In all fairness the market wasn't
in L.A. County.
Enriched Farms / Avantii Harvest
On Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 9:42 AM Maegen Rzasa-Cleary <maegen@xxxxxxxxxx>
What follows is the response from Supervisor Keuhl's office after taking
our concerns to Public Health.
The cliff notes version is that they *are not allowing prepackaged food
vendors into the market on the pretense that it promotes lingering and they
do not plan to change that directive.*
I have expressed my disappointment and concern with the relatively vague
responses and lack of actual explanation for how prepackaged food at a CFM
is any different from the exact same food sold at a grocery store.
*Where do we go from here? **I suggest...*
*Refunds for TFF permits*
I've also posed the notion of asking DPH to refund all of these vendors
who have paid for and hold permits that are no longer valid. Personally, I
think this is the most viable next step.
I also encourage our vendors to continue to reach out and appeal. There is
a group of SEE-LA vendors (some that many of us share) that is
organizing as we type. If you have vendors who'd like to be looped in, I
can connect them to that team - just send their emails my way.
*Compilation of DPH Inconsistencies*
In the meantime, I ask that you all *continue to email me accounts of DPH
inconsistencies *you have experienced currently and even preceding this
current health crisis (I realize that's a novel/can of worms for many of
us). The bullet below that responds to our claims of inconsistency
(education then action) is not sitting well with me. I feel lucky at
Hollywood, as this has been my personal experience, but our five other
markets have not shared the same response.
I hope all of your markets are going well under these new(est) directives
and that you're finding pockets of joy, calm and connection.
Hi Maegen and Jim,
I was able to receive some responses from the Department of Public Health
following our call. DPH will not be moving forward with allowing
non-produce pre-packaged foods.
- *There is confusion as to why LA County is the only county that does
not allow “community event” designation pre-packaged products to
to be made available at CFMs.*
- Vendors with a Certified Farmers Market permit can sell pre-packed
products, typically pre-cut fresh produce put into packages. Vendors
Community Events permit have been prohibited via the Health Officer
and are typically the vendors selling non-produce pre-packaged foods.
- County Counsel has ruled to temporarily prohibit all community event
permits in an attempt to prevent gatherings of people. There has
back from operators and County Counsel and DPH believe this ruling
the best interest of slowing the transmission of the virus by
gatherings/crowds at the markets.
- *Concerns over inconsistency by inspectors visiting markets. Some
have asked for immediate closure of full pre-packaged products
vs. the following week.*
- Public Health’s Environmental Health division approaches all
inspections with an education approach first and if there is no
upon follow-up inspection, then enforcement steps are initiated.
- We have elevated this operator’s concerns about inconsistency
to our Environmental Health Program.
- *Lack of guidance/more structure on how to social distance/create
systems within CFMs*.
- We’ve updated our guidance for farmers’ markets as of
- These are the critical social distancing requirements:
- Market managers are responsible for monitoring capacity to ensure
customer social distancing.
- Allow for space between produce stands
- Recommend designating an employee that will ensure the
social distancing requirements are met for those waiting to enter
purchasing from a market vendor and within the market.
- Recommend using tape on the ground surface to keep
customers adequately spaced within the market.
- *Can Public Health do a telebriefing to be conducted specific to
- Thank you for this idea; we passed it along to our
Environmental Health division.
We will keep you updated if there are updates to the online guidance or if
there will be telebriefings specific to farmer’s markets.
All the best,
*Fernando R. Morales*
District Director, West/Metro LA
*Sign Up for Kuehl Happenings <http://supervisorkuehl.com/email/>*
*Commendation Requests <http://supervisorkuehl.com/commendations>*
*Safer At Home Message
Market Manager, The Hollywood Farmers' Market
SEE-LA | *Increasing Food Access for ALL Angelenos*
*Direct (Office), M-TH:* 323.373.3339 <(323)%20373-3339>
*Direct (Emergency), Sundays 6a-3p: *323.463.3171,* press 0 *
*IG: *@thehfm @seelaorg
Description: JPEG image
Description: JPEG image