OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The Douglas County Health Department will begin closing 44 food and drink establishments for operating without a permit.
Invoices were sent to those businesses on Nov. 1 and all 2018 permits expired on Dec. 31. A delinquency notice was sent on Jan. 4.
Operating without a permit is a misdemeanor and violators are subject to a fine and jail time or both for each offense. Each day of operating without a permit is considered a separate offense. In addition, some businesses owe late fees from last year.
Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said the department does not want to close the businesses but they are aware of the law and have brought the problem on themselves.
“Operators know they must have a permit,” she said. “They also know all permits expired December 31st.”
The delinquent establishments will be closed starting today and citations will be issued by the Omaha Police Department.
All businesses engaged in providing food or drink to the public present a potential public health risk. Therefore they are subject to regulation. The cost of the permits is used to cover the cost of inspections. It should be noted that, to date, more than 2,600 establishments have paid their permits.
Correction: Due to a source error, Winchester's and The Pancake Man initially appeared on this list by mistake but were always in good standing with the county health department.