Hot dog ban takes bite out of Carroll leagues; Health code stand may cost youths more to play


Carroll County youths who play recreational sports might have to pay more than usual this spring to be in the lineup.

The county Health Department has asked recreation councils to comply with regulations that would limit items sold at many of Carroll's concession stands. In some cases, the councils would be limited to selling prepackaged foods.

No more hot dogs. Nachos would be out also.

In Union Bridge, the change is expected to translate into less revenue. As a result, youths will have to buy their pants this spring if they want to play baseball or softball. The pants cost $8 to $15, said Nancy Owings, community coordinator.

"It's going to have a major impact," said Owings, who expects about 200 youths to register for softball and baseball. "We will not be making as much money as we used to."

The Health Department action was prompted by a telephone call last fall from the operator of a concession stand who wanted to be sure he was purchasing the proper equipment for the facility.

During the conversation, it became clear that volunteers at the stand were preparing food on site, which requires a license from the Health Department. The stand was not licensed.

"While discussing the issue it also came out that there are stands all over the county like this," said Andrea Hanley, county supervisor of community hygiene. She would not disclose the identity of the caller.

"If we know about them, we license them," Hanley said. "We just didn't know about them."

She said her main concern was a lack of running water and the absence of commercial equipment. Many recreation councils depend on donations for items such as microwaves and electric grills.

"In order to handle an open product, they must have hot and cold water," said Hanley. "Running water is needed so that employees can wash their hands and wash, rinse and sanitize the utensils and equipment."

The equipment must meet the standards of the National Sanitation Foundation, she said.

The county Department of Recreation, Parks and Facilities is hoping to have the concession stands it uses in compliance with the health regulations by the time baseball season begins.

Pub Date: 1/07/99

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