The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


October 15, 2012

Protect oilfield workers by exposing unlicensed vendors

ENID, Okla. — Would you like an order of norovirus with a side of salmonella?

No, you wouldn’t, and that’s what the Oklahoma State Department of Health is trying to prevent from happening.

The department and its county offices are cracking down on an increasing number of unlicensed food vendors catering to the booming oil and gas industry.

Some entrepreneurs are looking to cater at remote well sites in northwest Oklahoma, where oilfield crews either are too far from or exceed the capacity of local restaurants.

While oilfield workers need to eat, this situation can turn sour if the food vendor isn’t licensed by the Health Department and operating under proper health standards.

Improper food-handling practices, equipment or food-temperature management can cause bacterial growth in food, leading to serious food-borne illnesses. Even in the oil patch.

It makes sense to keep oilfield workers healthy. Energy companies don’t want to risk sick employees hampering productivity. That can cause serious economic losses.

Businesses following the rules shouldn’t be punished. Licensed mobile food vendors in Oklahoma almost doubled in the past year, growing from 383 in 2011 to more than 700.

These mobile food establishments meet the same health standards as their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

Considering fines can add up for vendors caught selling food without a license, a $350 license fee is fairly minor in comparison.

Since officials don’t have the necessary staffing to implement the rules, the Health Department gets a considerable amount of help from properly licensed caterers in identifying unlicensed competition.

Unlicensed vendors cut into the business of legitimate competition. Caterers say it’s not uncommon for “fly-by-night” competition to show up at well sites and even public venues. That’s frustrating.

We’re realize this kind of crackdown is hard to enforce in the outskirts. Although enforcement is a big issue, that doesn’t mean health officials shouldn’t try.

Text Only
  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg David, Goliath at it again in Gaza Strip

    Israel has long seen itself as David, standing firm against a hostile neighborhood full of Goliaths.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS must come up with future plans for NORCE, SORC facilities after they are closed

    NORCE is scheduled to close in August 2015. Currently, 15 residents remain at the facility, awaiting transfer to a private setting, and there also are 60 state employees on the NORCE payroll.

    July 24, 2014

  • Never leave a child or a pet alone in a car

    With temperatures soaring to near or above 100, parents need to know they can’t leave their children alone in a locked vehicle. In 10 minutes, a vehicle’s temperature can climb 19 degrees. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and it only takes a few minutes before a child can become dangerously overheated, according to Safe Kids USA.

    July 23, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-24-2014

    I am beginning to believe that Mellon is the poorest Treasurer we ever had. I would like to be Treasurer. Here would be my policy, and you see if it wouldn’t be the best thing for America:
    Save nothing, have nothing in there. Then Congress and the entire nation could have nothing in view only what they made themselves.
    A Candidate.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads