Food Carts Letter Grade In New York

Food Carts Letter Grade – Food carts used by street-meat vendors could soon be subject to a health letter grade system in New York City. It’s all up to one Queens lawmaker, if he has it his way or not. State Senator Jose Peralta will introduce a bill this week requiring the Department of Health to issue the new system, similar to those restaurants have posting in their windows.

“What type of food they’re going to be eating, whether it’s safe, whether it’s healthy, that they do the same on the streets,” said Peralta.

The idea has previously received support from Mayor Bloomberg, who once told reporters “I love to eat from the street vendors…Personally, I would love to see … a sign up there telling whether or not the guy washed his hands before he reaches in and pulls out the hot dog.”

For New Yorkers, the letter-grading system has done a great job for public restaurants.

But the Department of Health itself says it may not have the manpower to hand out A’s, B’s and C’s to all of the city’s food carts. Currently only 20 of the Department’s 115 to 140 inspectors are assigned to grading the mobile meateries, making the mass grading process difficult.

“Carts are mobile, making regular reinspections–such as those done at restaurants as part of grading– more difficult,” officials said.

And as for the actual food vendors, CBS had trouble finding any willing to talk on the subject. Sean Basinski, “Street Vendor Project” Director, however, said, “Most mobile food vendors want letter grades, just like restaurants receive. The vast majority of them sell clean, delicious food and they want to be recognized for that.”