NYC: Mayor Bloomberg Wants to Expand Restaurant Grading System to Food Carts

Elham Mogales's hot dog cart set up for operation on West 60th Street and Broadway.

By Reuven Blau |

Elham Mogales's hot dog cart set up for operation on West 60th Street and Broadway.

The new system of grading city restaurants has been such a success Mayor Bloomberg said Monday that he wants to expand it to the city’s roving fleet of food carts.

“Personally, I would love to see before I buy from a cart a sign up there telling whether or not the guy washed his hands before he reaches in and pulls out the hot dog, Bloomberg said at an event trumpeting the benefits of letter grades for city eateries.

“I love to eat from the street vendors too,” he said.

But any idea hizzoner may have for a new campaign against what city residents can enjoy was immediately tamped down by Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

“It is more complicated because \[the carts\] are not always out there,” Farley said.

Bloomberg crowed that since the city instituted the letter-grading system a year ago, Big Apple restaurant have been spared $3 million in fines by earning A-grades.

While overall fines shot up from $32 million to $42 million, Bloomberg said the bite would have been worse if restaurants making fast improvements hadn’t had their fines waived.

“I promised in my State of the City that restaurants that earned A-grades over the last six months would be relieved of fines,” he said. “I am proud to say that system is working for customers and restaurants.”

In all, 90% of city restaurants have been inspected under the new system, with 69% earning an A, 15% a B, and just 4% getting a C.

The new program allows eateries that do not get an A on the first go-round to be reinspected within about a month to allow them to fix things.

In the interim they are allowed to post a “grade pending” notice.