Health Department Plans to Legalize Pop-ups

The fate of pop-up restaurants has lingered in limbo for months.


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The Alameda County Department of Environmental Health presented a plan this week that would entail the formal legalization of pop-ups.

This follows the agency's controversial shut-down of pop-ups, which sparked a storm of commentary this summer.

The East Bay Express reported on Sept. 5 that, before Alameda County health inspectors shut down the Oakland pop-up Nokni in August, "no one realized that the California Retail Food Code doesn’t address pop-up restaurants, making them illegal by omission. And restaurant owners who host pop-ups put their establishments at risk by doing so."

As reported at SF.Eater, the new plan will let pop-ups exist in already-permitted restaurants — in which pop-up personnel will have access to that restaurant's sinks, food-prep areas, restrooms, and other hygiene-related facilities.

If alcohol is served during a pop-up, it must be served under the auspices not of the pop-up but of the host restaurant.

Pop-ups will manifest only through a formal application and permitting process.

This program is expected to take effect in December, according to SF.Eater.

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