Health Department Restricting Some Sales of Online Food

Health Department Restricting Some Sales of Online Food

by Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

ODESSA- The Ector County Health Department wants to keep the county healthy. Some foods that you prepare in your home can't be sold on the Ector County Trading Post, a Facebook page that allows users to buy and sell items.

Bruce Cunha is the Chief Sanitarian for the Ector County Health Department. He says food that involve meat or raw eggs are prohibited from selling online.

"We're not allowed in people's houses. Therefore, they don't have a permit and it's not legal and therefore we don't know what people are putting in the food and you may get sick," Cunha said.

Some foods don't require a permit and can still be sold through the Trading Post Facebook Page. The Texas Cottage Food Act was passed in 2013 which allows certain baked goods like cookies, muffins and brownies to be accepted for sale online. Basically baked goods that don't have to be refrigerated are OK. The Health Department was tipped off by angry restaurant owners seeing people sell food on the web that didn't have a permit.

"We got calls from some restaurants in town saying 'hey, we're paying taxes, health permits and employee insurance. These people are selling food without a permit,'" Cunha said.

If you are caught selling hazardous foods on the page, the Health Department will issue a written warning. If you're caught a second time, you're looking at a fine reaching a couple hundred dollars.

Yajaira Rodriguz is one of the administrators for the Trading Post Facebook Page, she says it's up to the person to get the proper permits.

"We don't ask for permits to see if they have it, that's not our job. We tell people to sell and buy at your own risk," Rodriguz said. 

For a complete list of hazardous food that are restricted to sell on the trading post, and a complete list of baked good that are OK to sell, you can go to or you can call the Ector County Health Department at 432-498-4141.