OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Several Douglas County businesses have failed to pay their 2022 food and beverage permits.
According to the Douglas County Health Department, at least 50 businesses have failed to pay their 2022 food and beverage permits and are operating illegally. Businesses owe either permit fees, late fees, or both.
Invoices for 2022 food and beverage permits for restaurants and other businesses were sent on November 1, 2021, and payments were due by December 31, 2021. The Department of Health says the 2021 permits expired on December 31, 2021. Food and drink establishments that do not pay for their new permits by May 4 face closure.
The health department said it was working with Omaha police to issue citations and shut down businesses operating illegally, starting May 6.
In 2021, the Ministry of Health did not choose to close restaurants operating without a license. Chief Health Officer Lindsay Huse says that will change this year.
“The Department of Health is responsible for the safety of the public’s food,” Huse said. “The fees paid by restaurants for these permits fund the inspections that ensure the safety of your food. Last year, due to the pandemic, we refused to close restaurants. A few farms chose to take advantage and never paid for their 2021 permits.”
The Department of Health adds that the announcement aims to help businesses avoid closure.
“We gave these restaurants every opportunity to pay for their permits and most restaurateurs did. While we want to work with these businesses, those that have continued to operate illegally leave us with no choice but to shut them down.
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