NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHAND MENTAL HYGIENE
Thomas Farley, MD, MPH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
HEALTH DEPARTMENT CLARIFIES REGULATIONS TO IMPROVE MOBILE FOODSAFETY PRACTICES AND ENCOURAGE COMPLIANCE
June 6, 2012
Health Department announced a proposal to clarify
mobile food vendingregulations today in an effort to
help improve the sanitary practices of New
York City’s vibrant
street food culture. The reformulated regulations better explain equipment requirements to
improve vendors’ sanitary practices and decrease the threat of food
-borne illnesses, expandoptions for storing vending units overnight, and improve oversight of operations.
“New York City is the capital of mobile food vending and these modifications will makeenjoying this part of the city’s culinary culture safer for diners,” said Health Commissioner Dr.Thomas Farley. “We’re also clarifying the
requirements for food vendors, making compliance
simpler and more transparent.”
If the proposed regulations are adopted, permit holders, who may not always operate the cart ortruck, will be required to appear in person when the cart or truck is inspected before the permit isissued. This will reinforce the role of the permit holder in adhering to high food safety standards.Unannounced inspections will continue to occur on the city streets during hours when vendorsare operating so the Department can observe food preparation and handling.
Tightened permittingprocedures will also help the Department clamp down on the illegal renting of mobile food permits.Permit holders must notify the Department of all authorized vendors.
The changes, if adopted, will simplify equipment requirements that correlate to the type of foodsold and cooking methods used to help vendors meet sanitary standards. A vending unit whereraw meat is cooked, for example, has to be equipped with a sink for washing hands while a unitselling only prepackaged foods would not. Facilities that store trucks and carts overnight willhave to maintain a daily log of the date and time vending units enter and exit.While food carts have become a fixture on New York City streets, the proposed changes will helpensure that a balance is kept between the needs of both vendors and pedestrians. Cart size for allvendors that do not prepare food, including Green Carts that specialize in fresh fruits andvegetables, would be capped at five feet in width and ten feet in length. The size for all non-motor vehicle carts would be subject to the same size limits.Vendors and consumers are invited to submit comments on the proposed rules by July 19 for ahearing on the proposal. The rules and a summary of the major proposed changes are available
on the Department’s website. The summary will also be posted on the website soon in Arabic,