New York City wants you to know how sanitary your favorite hot dog stand is


Flickr/Eric Chan

A food cart on 53rd St.

  • Thanks to a new law, New York City will be giving more than 5,000 food carts and trucks letter grades based on their sanitation.
  • The grades are similar to ones restaurants have posted in their windows for years.

Will your favorite hot dog stand be getting an "A''?

New York City's iconic food carts are starting to get health department letter grades, giving on-the-go workers and tourists alike a quick reference for cleanliness and safety.

The city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene handed out the first batch of grades Friday to about two dozen of the city's more than 5,000 food carts and trucks.

They're the same style placards that have been commonplace at restaurants, coffee shops and other establishments around the Big Apple for about a decade.

The city has always inspected food carts and flagged violations. The new report cards are the result of a law passed last June.

The city says it expects to have all carts and trucks graded within two years.

READ MORE: Here's what a typical work day is like for a Halal Guys cart vendor, who prepares food for hundreds of customers, works until 5:30 in the morning and braves hurricanes to serve hot meals

The grading system, according to a bulletin on New York City's health department's website, is a points-based one, where each violation counts for a different number of points based "on the risk to public health." For an "A" grade, vendors can receive a maximum of 13 points against them while a "C' grade is anything thing over 27 points.

The sanitation of food carts and trucks in New York and other cities has been closely monitored for years and is often rated better than the carts' reputation would lead you to believe. In Boston, traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants were more likely to be cited for health violations than food trucks, according to a Boston Globe review of 2016 health code violations.

In Los Angeles, mobile food vendors have been graded for years after city officials decided in October 2010 to hold restaurants and food trucks to the same standard.

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