FOREST HILLS — A Queens councilwoman wants food trucks and carts to display letter grades, just like city restaurants.
Karen Koslowitz introduced a bill in the City Council Wednesday, which she said would require the city’s Health Department to conduct inspections and give food carts and trucks letter grades of A, B or C.
“You go to a food cart, and you really don’t know its sanitary condition,” Koslowitz said in a statement. “Our current grading system works well for restaurants, and I believe it would be good for the City’s food carts as well.”
Letter grades have been given to restaurants in New York City since 2010.
“The consumer has a right to know to what degree a cart is in compliance,” Koslowitz added. “This way the public can make an informed choice as to whether to eat at a particular food cart.”
Gloria Stein, 45, a bank employee, who often buys lunch from food carts and trucks making stops in Forest Hills, said it was “a smart idea.”
“I always check letter grades when I go to restaurants,” she said. “It would be great to have the same option at food carts.”
Sean Basinski, director of the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project, which represents nearly 2,000 New York City street vendors, said the group supports the proposal.
“In fact, vendors have been asking for letter grading for years,” he said in an email. “Right now, vendors receive frequent (often monthly) health inspections, but the public often is not aware that their food is safe and delicious.”
The bill must first go to the health committee, before the City Council gets to vote on it later this year, according to a spokesman for Koslowitz.
A spokeswoman for the Health Department said the agency will also review the bill.