You may have noticed that pushcart vendors selling frozen goods have been wandering around the streets in our area in huge numbers lately. It would appear that most of these vendors are unlicensed, their carts do not comply with regulations for food service businesses, and that the licensing of the business that appears to run all of these carts is fraudulent.

In the City of Manassas, members of Help Save Manassas have found that the licenses these vendors post are required to name the person with the cart. Our investigation leads us to conclude that they rarely do, and that these licenses all seem to be in the name of a single person residing in Dallas, Texas. If the person pushing the cart is not the person listed on the license, it is a violation. In Prince William County, after a little bit of struggling to determine what the requirements are, enforcement efforts have yet to encounter a pushcart vendor who is actually in compliance with the law. If you encounter one of these vendors, call the police. Repeat offenders may be subject to arrest.

Why is this a problem, other than being quite a nuisance? These pushcarts are often on the street, posing a traffic hazard. Unlicensed vendors haven't been inspected by the health department and may be infected with dangerous communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, a dangerous disease once rarely encountered in the United States, but which is increasingly common among the illegal alien population, along with cholera and leprosy. There are also reports that some of these vendors may be dealing drugs from their carts. These vendors could be perfectly safe, or they could be a real hazard, but because they have evaded licensing requirements, we have no way to know. There are real safety and public health risks, along with the problem of licensing fraud, which are very serious.

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