Underground Market Runs Afoul of Health Department Once More, Gets Shut Down

At the Underground Market.
At the Underground Market. Photo: Jim Wilson/NYT

The extremely popular Underground Markets that ForageSF has been organizing at Public Works in the Mission began as just little events in a house back in late 2009, which due to a great deal of publicity got an immediate visit from the Health Department. Iso Rabins, founder of ForageSF, took the advice of a health inspector at the time and made the events “members-only,” private affairs, where people had to sign up online ahead of time, thereby circumventing the issue of unlicensed vendors selling their jams to the public. But now, as SFoodie reports, the state appears to be pressuring the city to crack down further. “They’re not buying the members-only thing,” says Rabins, especially now that the New York Times has written up the market and there are consistent lines down the block.

Rabins is meeting with the Department of Public Health, but until they negotiate something new, their cease and desist order wil be shutting down this popular event indefinitely. Boo, we say.

This action, of course, kind of contradicts the new law and new amendment passed by the Board of Supervisors and the Land Use Committee in recent months that actually make it easier for urban farmers to sell their own produce in the city, and to sell value-added products like jams and pickles — which are exactly the kinds of things people sell at these markets, in addition to prepared foods.

Health Department Shuts Down ForageSF Underground Market [SFoodie]
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Underground Market Runs Afoul of Health Department Once More, Gets Shut Down