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Food Trucks Should Get Letter Grades, Lawmaker Says

Sunday, December 04, 2011

WNYC

Food trucks and carts should be governed under the same letter-grading system that currently applies to New York City restaurants, according to a Queens lawmaker.

State Senator Jose Peralta proposed legislation last week that would require street vendors to display the grades on their carts and trucks.

Under the bill, any grade lower than a C is considered a failing grade. Vendors would be given a chance to appeal a letter grade within 30 days.

The city health department said it already inspects food carts and consumers can check the results online.

"Letter grading of mobile food vendors would require a number of considerations that are quite different than restaurants,” the department said in a statement. “A corresponding scoring system for food safety and sanitary violations that carts receive is not in place at this time."

But, the health department added, it is "is a considering ways to better let the public know that a cart or truck has been inspected."

Peralta said that's not good enough.

"If you have some sort of question about a street vendor — whether they're sanitary or not — are you going to pause at the moment while you're hungry to look up on your computer whether that individual or that street cart has met certain standards?" Peralta asked. "I believe not."

The Street Vendor Project, which provides legal representation and advocacy for street vendors, and the New York City Food Truck Association, an advocacy group, support the letter grades.

But both organizations would like lawmakers to address what they see as more pertinent problems in the regulation of mobile food vendors: prohibitions against selling in metered parking spots, expensive fines and streamlining the licensing process for food carts and trucks.

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Comments [6]

Taking It To The Streets from NYC

I agree food vendors should get these grades. Also fruit carts should accept food stamps/EBT cards. Currently we have a big problem on the Upper West Side with food carts and fruit carts in residential neighborhoods causing problems. One in particular operates 24 hours a day.

You can follow our blog:
http://takingittothestreetsnyc.blogspot.com/

Apr. 17 2012 11:11 PM
Felix Suero

I agree with Senator Peralta and at the same time any customer could also detect which food stand is legally authorized to do so.

Dec. 05 2011 05:46 PM
Ana

Great idea, but there should be some mention of the City Council bill, introduced in March 2010, requiring vendor letter grades.

The link for that bill is here: http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=655197&GUID=3C532764-A9C4-4BBC-B9CA-A552A1DBD224&Options=ID|Text|&Search=105

Dec. 05 2011 02:38 PM
Jim from brooklyn

No brainer. You eat at these carts; you don't want to be poisened or get sick. How's that any different from any restaurant? It just costs the city money to send inspectors out to the carts. As in everything else in government-- it's all about the $$. The world would be a better place if we imprison all the politicians and especially aspiring politicians (read thieves / failed car salesmen)?

Dec. 04 2011 04:47 PM

Good article. I agree with State Senator Jose Peralta. Food trucks and carts should be governed under the same letter-grading system that currently applies to New York City restaurants and the law needs to require street vendors to display the grades on their carts and trucks. Consumers need to know that food trucks and carts have met required sanitary standards. It's not fun getting sick.

Dec. 04 2011 07:14 AM
williehooser from ca,us


Yes most of the brands do give out samples of their products. Look for "Get Official Samples" online and get the samples. They are the best. You wont need CC.

Dec. 04 2011 01:52 AM

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