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New Bill Wants the Health Department to Grade Food Carts Like Restaurants

The proposed bill would also regulate congestion, police black market food vendors, and offer conflict resolution.

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There's a bill in the works that would create a commission to regulate New York's numerous mobile food vendors. This group would address many issues, but most notably would take on the lack of health regulations imposed on street carts by applying a letter grading system similar to the one used in restaurants. This bill also aims to create zoning for mobile food vendors to reduce overcrowding, and would help with conflict resolution between street vendors and business owners, as well as deal with black market food trucks.

So far, this proposal has received support from restaurateurs and street food vendors, alike. The idea that food trucks would have comply with the same health regulations as any brick-and-mortar establishment appeals to restaurant owners, who think it's only fair that street carts should have to comply with the same standards. Many street food vendors, meanwhile, appreciate the calming effect that an "A" grade would have on more finicky diners. As Elise Goldin of the Street Vendor Project tells the Daily News, "our members want to be seen as legitimate, and if a letter grade helps bring that legitimacy, our members would be supportive."

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