While restaurants get regular visits from the health department, and public grades so everyone can see in plain daylight just how clean they are, the warehouses where ingredients live beforehand are not nearly so well-policed. Currently they're only visited by the FDA once every three to five years, and there's no easily searchable list of their violations. But now Senator Charles Schumer has launched a crusade to change that.
Noting that over 90 New York food facilities have been cited for rat infestations and other gross unsanitary conditions (remember the horror show discovered in Brooklyn last month?) in 2014, he's proposing a whole host of measures to keep things clean. On Sunday he called on the FDA to start forcing yearly inspections on companies with bad records, to create a public database with the results, and to up the fines for violators. "Warehouses that supply food to restaurants here in New York have conditions that would make your stomach turn," said Schumer.