Mayor Mike Wants DOH Grades For Carts

This again? Last year when the DOH announced they would be giving letter grades to restaurants, there was also talk about doing the same for food carts. A few articles appeared this week in places like the NY Daily News and the NY Post saying that Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for the grading system, but the DOH says it is unlikely to institute it any time soon. They claim they don’t have enough inspectors (only 20 devoted to food carts) and it is difficult to do re-inspections since carts and trucks are not always in the same spot. It looks like we’re in the clear for now, but could this do more harm than good for the carts? I have no doubt the majority of them are just as clean (if not more so) than most restaurants in the city, but as we’ve recently witnessed at places like Cer Te, the DOH grading system doesn’t only include food safety and health concerns. On the other hand, this could help legitimize the cleanliness of food carts once and for all to the people who are hesitant to eat there in the first place.


  • I wouldn’t mind this. They should start a pilot inspection on trucks and then move onto carts if that’s successful. Of course, the DOH will need to find more money to hire more money to inspect them and create their own sanitary rubric for them.

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    I think it’s a great idea. I wonder if any carts would get higher than a B, given that there is no place to store their food safely before it is cooked. A truck, on the other hand, can have a refrigerator and other restaurant equipment, and could possibly get an A.

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    I got food poisoning from the “imposter” cart last year. I chalked it up to getting lunch late in the afternoon on a hot day when the raw chicken or sauce had probably been sitting out in the heat for too long, but I did report it to 311. I was never able to find any sort of health report on that cart (or any carts at all) on the DOH website afterwards though.

    I’ve also seen a couple of TV “investigative reports” over the years showing the parking spots for some of those carts which seemed rather unappetizing. So yes I’d be in favor of seeing any sort of increased inspection/grading.

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