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City Official Warns Buyers about Tamales Street Vendors

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BROWNWSVILLE - Several Rio Grande Valley cities are warning people to be careful who they buy tamales from this holiday season.

Health officials said food sold out of a cooler could put your health at risk. Food that isn’t stored at above 145 degrees can start growing bacteria.

A local street vendor said he spends his day selling tamales from place to place. He said there’s a lot of demand for this traditional food in the Valley.

He added people don’t have time to make them before Christmas. Despite the demand, Valley cities stand firm on food sold on the streets.

“You don’t know where the food is being made. You don’t know how it’s being made. You don’t know if it’s safe to eat,” said Roxanna Rosas, spokesperson for the city of Brownsville.

Brownsville, along with other cities, requires kitchens to go through health inspections to sell food on the street. 

The street vendor said he received a warning from a health inspector about his business Tuesday morning.  

However, he said selling tamales is what he and his wife do for a living. He said they’ve built a reputation for themselves selling the popular food.

Rosas said fines for vendors without a permit can range up to $2,000.

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