Law Dishes Out Strict Health Rules For Food Vendors

Jose Peralta

Queens Gazette

by Liz Goff

September 22, 2010

A state senator from Queens is calling on state officials to pass legislation that would require street food vendors and food vendors at stadiums and arenas to undergo a grueling inspection by state health officials and to display a “grade” indicating the condition of their food carts and workspaces.

State Senator Jose Peralta recently introduced the measure that would require food vendors to undergo the same strict inspection as city restaurants and to display a “grade” issued by the state Department of Health (DOH) on their carts or workplaces.

A Peralta spokesperson said the Queens lawmaker will officially introduce the new legislation when the senate reconvenes in January 2011. If the measure becomes law, vendors will be required to display their grade by mid-2011, the spokesperson said.

Restaurants throughout New York City are required to display a grade determined by a DOH inspector that rates the cleanliness and overall condition of the eatery.

In his legislation, Peralta is calling for the same system to be applied to food vendors who sell products to the public, which puts its trust in vendors to keep their trucks clean and pest-free.