A City Council Member Wants Street Vendors to Be Graded, Too

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Star pupil?
Now that the Board of Health has voted to require restaurants to post inspection letter grades, at least one local politician is hoping the DOH will extend the courtesy to street vendors.

Our Town reports that Council Member Dan Garodnick introduced a bill last year to require street vendors to display letter grades, and believes that because of the Board's recent vote, it could become law.

Somewhat predictably, people more familiar with the realities of street vending inspections than Garodnick, who described himself to the paper as a "sporadic" vendor customer, say that this isn't the best idea. As the Street Vendor Project's Sean Basinski pointed out, vendors are often fined for violations that have little to nothing to do with food safety, such as the placement of their vendor's license or insufficient water pressure. Plus, unlike at restaurants, vendor kitchens are open kitchens, making them unlikely to suffer some of the nastier, cockroachier problems that lead to bad inspection grades. But why bother yourself with such niggling details when there's a fresh roll of red tape just waiting to be unspooled?

Have a tip, restaurant-related news, or just something to say? E-mail fork@villagevoice.com.

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