Are Food Carts Finally Going to Get Health Department Grades?

Staff Writer
A law has been proposed in Albany that would stick letter grades on food carts in New York

Do you really want to know how clean your local halal truck is?

Buying hot dogs, halal, and pretzels from a food cart in New York City is always a bit of a risk. You know you may not be getting the most hygienically conscious food preparation possible, but hey — they’re called dirty water dogs for a reason. That laissez-faire attitude might soon change. According to The New York Daily News, health department letter grades may soon be mandatory for street food carts.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D-Bronx), is up for consideration in Albany right now, perhaps in response to the hundreds of health violations and reports of food poisoning New York’s street vendors have collected over the years.

The bill is not just meant to address possible health concerns for the rogue carts that have gone uninspected for years. It’s also meant to appease angry restaurant- and store-owners, who believe that, between not paying rent and not getting Health Department grades, mobile food trucks and carts have it easy.

“We want to make sure every street vendor, like every restaurant, has a letter grade,” Peralta told The Daily News. “It’s in the best interests of the consumers and of the vendors to ensure they are not selling products that make people sick.”

The bill is currently supported by the Street Vendor Project and the New York Restaurant Association. 

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