LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — The first letter grades were issued to food carts and food trucks in New York City Friday.
The city Department of Health just rolled out the new grading system for the thousands of trucks and carts serving up meals across the five boroughs.
Only two dozen or so carts and trucks currently have grades, and officials expect it will take about two years before all of them are rated.
On the Lower East Side, Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot congratulated Mahmoud Abdel Wahed, the owner of Mo’s Coffee Cart, which was among the first food carts in the city to receive an A grade.
This past November, the health department published the final rules for the new grading program, which introduced a scoring system similar to the one used for restaurant inspections.
The new grading program holds carts and trucks to the same food safety standards as restaurants, and proprieters will receive points for violations that correspond to either an A, B, or C letter grade.
The new letter grading program applies to all food carts and trucks authorized to operate in New York City and is required under last year’s Local Law 108 sponsored by Council Member Karen Koslowitz.
The letter grade is featured on the permit decal located on the cart or truck. It will take two years for the city’s more than 5,000 carts and trucks to receive grades, similar to the rollout of restaurant grading.