Mar 7, 2012 8:35 PM by Jacqui Heinrich

Street foods: tasty, but safe?

Sometimes you find the best tasting food in the least likely places- like from street vendors. But some of that food is prepared at home in unlicensed kitchens, which could pose a risk to your health.

The Health Department inspects licensed eateries twice yearly, checking everything from temperature control to employee hygiene. In El Paso County, 1 in 10 are found in violation on average- meaning there's a risk anywhere you eat, licensed or not.

Tom Gonzales of the El Paso County Health Department says there are ways to use your best judgment when making that dinner choice. "If you have raw animal protein in there, there is a higher risk for foodborne illness- and the data and science shows that- versus a baked item, there is lower risk," Gonzales told News 5.

Either way, local street vendor sales suggest many people think it's worth a roll of the dice to taste that homemade cooking; one tamale vendor sells almost 500 per day.



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