NYC Food Trucks Will Now Get Letter Grades Like Restaurants
By Sharelle Burt
Food trucks are convenient for New York City’s grab and go culture, but are they healthy?
Food trucks parading New York City streets are being scoped out by the Health Department as they introduce a new grading system in December. Just like your standard restaurants, food carts and trucks will be graded on a point system and are required to display a grade of “A,” “B” or “C.”
Since there are over 5,000 food trucks in the area, the New York Department of Health will attach tracking devices to carts to track down the vendors when its time for inspection. Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health praises the new system because he thinks foodies have the right to know what’s going on behind that window. “New Yorkers are known around the world for always being on the go – and New York is known around the world for the amazing diversity of its street food, ranging from halal hot dogs to curry in a hurry,” Gottfried said. “But everyone celebrating that diversity has a right to know that it meets uniform health standards, and the Health Department is right to implement a letter grading system for food carts and trucks to help assure that those standards are met.”
Even though some trucks have hungry customers with lines up the block, there is still a negative undertone when it comes to them. Ahmad Ali from The Halal Guys thinks its about time to get rid of the stigma. “I believe this will be something good,” Ali told Eyewitness News. “Because if you’re taking care of your business, it doesn’t matter.”
NYC street vendors are only tied to yearly health inspections and receive a simple pass or fail grade. With the new law, a vendor that passes but has a low grade, like a ‘C,’ could be hurt by the chefs around the corner with an ‘A’ grade. Sometimes, you like what you like regardless of the grade or condition of the truck. Regardless, you may be forced to try new trucks as low-rated vendors will be forced to close their windows for good.