Sunnyside Post

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Grading the food carts

Queens Courier

One Queens politician is aiming to make choosing the right food cart as easy as “A, B, C.”

Senator Jose Peralta, who represents Jackson Heights, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst and Woodside, recently introduced a bill that would require local health departments across the state to evaluate and assign a letter grade to mobile food carts. The legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks, would invoke a similar rating system to the one performed on restaurants.

“The idea is that whether buying a meal in a restaurant or from a mobile food vendor, consumers should know that what they are eating has met certain food standards,” said Peralta. “Food carts already have to undergo inspections, and this would be bringing some transparency to it and bring a powerful incentive to vendors to make sure that their operation is neat and clean. Being able to post on ‘A’ on your cart is an awfully good marketing tool, so at the end of the day, it is good for consumers and it is good for businesses.”

If the bill passes, mobile food units will be given an “A,” “B” or “C” – with all lower grades considered failing marks – and vendors will be required to post their grades in front of their carts. All units that receive lower than an “A” will also be re-examined no less than seven and no more than 21 days from their initial inspection. Carts that receive an “A” will be evaluated at least once a year, with a “B” leading to an inspection at least once every nine months, and a “C” requiring a check-up every three months.

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7 Responses »

  1. In my opinion you need to grade outdoor carts alot more often than restaruants due to weather condiitions. I do not think they should be judged the same way. every three months or sooner to protect the customers and to make sure the owner is the same not everone is gong to keep the sanitary conditions the same. How are they gong to keep tract of where they move these mobie food carts.

  2. where do these guys wash their hands or go to the bathroom?

  3. @gnan

    “Carts selling cooked food must have sinks and plumbing, with hot and cold running water for hand washing. As for bathrooms, vendors use the facilities at nearby stores and delis.”
    http://streetvendor.org/about/fifteen-questions

  4. I wouldn’t eat from one even if it had an AAAAA rating!

  5. A friend of mine had a burrito from a street vendor on Tuesday and spent all day yesterday in the bathroom. I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, especially the ones in Sunnyside under the el. They leave their garbage to be picked up by the Department of Sanitation, which is illegal, and they take business away from our local vendors.

  6. I grade them G – for get them the hell out of here.
    I never eat from them… ever.

  7. Los Vagabundos, the taco truck outside the Courtyard Bar on QB & 41 St has great food & I would recommend it to anyone. High volume/turnover is a good indicator to watch for.

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