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Is NYC Street Food Sanitary???

Street food, like street art and street music, is exciting for its quality and for the feeling of discovery. Many food trucks now have restaurant-quality food but with even more creativity in its presentation.

Street food is convenient, fast and inexpensive, but before you buy that pretzel on the street corner, maybe you’d like to know how sanitary your food is…

Are NYC food trucks sanitary?

On May 30, 2017, NYC mayor Bill DiBlasio signed a law requiring food trucks to post the same letter that NYC restaurants are required to post, a NYC Department of Health alert about the cleanliness of the establishment. Restaurants receive an A, B or C with the complete findings of the health inspector available to everyone with just a couple of taps on their phones.

See for yourself

Type in the name of a restaurant here:

www.NYC.gov restaurant inspection look-up guide


The NYC Department of Health inspects food carts once a year without notice to the vendors. What do they look for? Spoiled food and a water-supply for the vendors to adequately wash their hands.


Look For These Warning Sign Not To Trust The Food Stand:

Also, NYC recommends you, the customer, keep an eye out for these three warning signs:

  1. Food handlers:
  2. must wear hair nets and clean gloves
  3. must never use the same tools to serve both raw and cooked foods
  4. must never touch ready-to-eat food with bare hands or dirty gloves

One last thing…

Vendors pay between $250-$300 a month to garage their carts and trucks at night. This fee includes hosing down the cart every night.

So would you eat street food in NYC?

Let me know in the comments…


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33 thoughts on “Is NYC Street Food Sanitary??? Leave a comment

  1. Los Angeles has street food, but not so much — don’t have much experience with it as it has a bad rap. congrats on getting letter grade system

    • I always prefer my own cooking, even over any restaurant, but sometimes it’s tempting 🥨 The letter grades are definitely helpful but they haven’t inspected many yet. I’m looking to add a photo of a food stand with its letter grade

    • Most people here and on Instagram agree with you: just eat it 😉👍 On that cold night in the top photo, I got a pretzel 🥨😋

  2. I’ve eaten New York City food truck food . Some of it is restaurant-quality and it’s convenient to take back to your desk for lunch. I also used to get food-cart hot dogs, pretzels and nuts but those carts look squalid. I do miss the hot dogs. They may have been “dirty water dogs” but they were tasty!

    • 😂 Yes, squalid is a great word but sometimes we eat it anyway. I bought a pretzel that day. Thanks for visiting! I took a quick look at your blog and see we have a lot in common 😉👍 I’ll take a much closer look later today when I have time to enjoy it, and I’m going to look for you on Instagram too

    • Thank you, Amanda. I was wondering so I did some research. I’m still looking for food stands with the letter grades. I haven’t seen any yet…

    • Hopefully they’ll all have the letter grades by then but if not, you can usually tell if it’s “clean enough” 😮🙃😜

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