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Queens Senator Wants Letter-Grading System For Street Food Vendors

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NYC Food Cart (Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

NYC Food Cart (Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queens lawmaker wants street vendors to have to make the grade.

State Senator Jose Peralta will introduce legislation this week that would require local health departments to implement a letter-grading system for street vendors, similar to the current restaurant grading system.

“What type of food they’re going to be eating, whether it’s safe, whether it’s healthy, that they do the same on the streets,” said Peralta.

CBS 2’s Mark Morgan tried to interview several street vendors along Fifth Avenue Sunday, but each declined. Many of the customers who did speak with Morgan said they agree that the carts should be graded.

“I think it would be a great idea in terms of cleanliness, and knowing the overall safety of the food and what’s being done for each vendor,” said Nicole Hopkins of Soho.

“Good idea, because you don’t know where these carts are overnight,” said David Bernstein of Forrest Hills. “You don’t know what is healthy and not healthy, as far as they’re being taken care of.”

George Kulick of Whitestone said a grading system would quickly designate which vendors are making an effort to be sanitary and which are not.

“There’s guys out there who want to make a quick buck and take advantage of it, and there’s guys out there who do the right thing. So I say they should have a rating to keep everybody honest.”

The Street Vendor Project released a statement in support of the measure as well.

“Most mobile food vendors want letter grades, just like restaurants receive. The vast majority of them sell clean, delicious food and they want to be recognized for that,” said Sean Basinski, “Project” Director.

Do you agree with State Sen. Peralta’s idea? Sound off in our comments section below…

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