NEW YORK -- Hot dog carts and taco trucks will soon sport letter grades rating their cleanliness under a bill passed by the City Council Wednesday.
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The legislation will require street food vendors to post grades of A, B, or C reflecting the results of their health inspections, just like restaurants have been required to do for years.
The bill’s sponsor, Karen Koslowitz, said New Yorkers now regularly check the letter grade before deciding whether to dine at an establishment.
"The A, B, C, or 'grade pending' carries with it real significance. The letter grade has become absolutely essential," said Koslowitz (D-Queens).
"Yet every day countless numbers of people in New York are expected to purchase food from a street vendor without knowing ... the cart's compliance to the New York City health code," she added. "Customers who buy food from a street vendor deserve to have the same absility to make an informed decision as patrons of restaurants."
Pretzel stands and halal carts are already inspected by the Health Department and fined for violations, but do not display the results in a grade.
Vendor groups largely supported the measure, saying street food sellers will welcome the chance to draw more business by proving their sanitary bona fides to potential customers.
"We're definitely in support of anything that will help with food safety," said Ben Goldberg, head of the New York Food Truck Association, adding the city should also change rules that make food truck workers meet more training requirements than those at restaurants. "It's very hard to employ people to work on these trucks."
The requirement will take effect in nine months.
SOURCE Erin Durkin, New York Daily News
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