New York City Food Cart Vendors Rarely Change Their Gloves, New Study Says

New York City food cart vendors’ hygiene habits are called into question following a study at William Patterson University
You might be getting a little extra grime on top of your street grub.

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You might be getting a little extra grime on top of your street grub.

Do you ever feel a little bit gross buying a $2 “dirty water dog?” It’s a quintessential New York street food experience, but according to a recent study there’s a reason for that unfortunate nickname: Researchers at William Patterson University have found that most New York City street cart vendors don’t change their gloves often enough and many don’t wear gloves at all, according to The Daily News.

The observational survey found that at the 25 food carts observed this past May, vendors only changed their gloves seven times over the course of 495 transactions: That means that vendors are wearing the same gloves after they take a bathroom break, handle your money, and hand over that hot dog, halal plate, or pretzel.

"That increases the risk of transmitting food-borne and other illness," said professor Corey Basch, the study’s author told The Daily Meal.

The practices clash with the Department of Health rules which stipulate that gloves must be changed every time a vendor changes tasks: Every time he switches from counting to change to grilling franks, he has to put on a new pair.


We reported earlier this year that the Health Department does not yet give out letter grades to food carts, but pretty soon they may be required to, if the bill in Albany passes.