Shelby County health officials cracking down on illegal food sales

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials aren’t cutting any slack when it comes to grilling out on Beale or anywhere in the city. Food truck imposters are popping up and the county says they’ll shut them down.

“I saw people lined up, buying food off this guy’s truck. He had a big BBQ pit and smoke was all up and down Beale Street, dreadlocks slanging all over the place,” said Tony Adams.

Adams shared pictures with WREG sharing his health concerns. He said a pick up truck griller can be spotted before sunrise on the weekend on Beale Street. WREG shared Adams’ concerns with Shelby Count health officials who said they’re on it.

“We will ask them to get into compliance with state law. We will escalate which could land them in Environmental Court,” Dr. Tyler Zerwekh.

Loading up the pick up and grilling out to make some quick bucks seems harmless, but you’ll need a permit for that and many are breaking the law on Beale and through out the city.

“They had guys out who would make turkey legs in the parking lot, and they grill them out right there, illegal.”

The trend is becoming more popular with the explosion of food trucks on the scene and the demand for fast and tasty food, but imposters could unintentionally bring more harm than good.

“If they do get sick they are now liable.”

Adams told WREG he sees both sides.

“On one hand I saw this making an honest living. People can die from bacteria,” said Adams.

However, he said rules are in place for a reason.

In short, he wants the smoke to clear on Beale and the pit shut off if people aren’t willing to follow the rules before placing patrons at risk and in danger.

Health officials said they don’t wish to discourage people from opening a business especially on Beale Street, but it needs to be done the right way.

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