Placer County Warns Residents Not To Purchase Roadside Produce

Placer County officials remind residents that roadside produce stands are illegal, and give several reasons why we should avoid purchasing from them.

By DAVID on May 31, 2018
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

It’s summer. We’re out, driving around, and we see a fruit stand off the side of the road. “Hey cool!” we think when that craving for oranges or a watermelon hits us. We pull over, and start looking through the fruit and veggies they have for sale.

That’s illegal. Well, not necessarily purchasing, but selling produce alongside of the road. At least in Placer County, it is. County officials are warning us not to purchase things from roadside vendors for a few different reasons. “Roadside vending is illegal in Placer County,” period, says the article on the county website. The primary reasons cited are under the concern of “serious public and environmental health risks.”

Officials say that since we’re not aware of where the farms are that the produce is grown, we’re not sure how it’s grown. There could be some sort of pesticide on fruits or vegetables, or some other kind of fertilizer that isn’t common or regulated. There’s also the environmental risk of other insects being introduced to the local area from other parts of the state. The Asian citrus psyllid was specifically mentioned. Those little guys can carry deadly diseases that can destroy crops here in town locally.

Officials also warn that roadside vending is often linked to human trafficking. Also, they say that there are poor working conditions for the people working the stands. Lack of shade and restrooms, for one. Also, sometimes the crops they’re selling are stolen from someone or somewhere else. Officials are also saying that purchasing produce from official Placer County farmers keeps money within the community and local farming industry. Check out some more info in the County’s official press release here. This doesn’t mean your favorite farmer’s market or places like Ikeda’s are affected. This is only for the stands you see with a pickup truck filled with produce standing by a road somewhere.

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