Well this sucks: the New York Post uncovered (as they do) statistics showing that the majority of health code violations made by NYC restaurants — “65.7 percent so far this year and 66.7 percent last year” — aren’t related to actual food violations. But while a fair number of those violations have legitimate grounds for concern (bad plumbing! Mice sightings! Unsafe wiring!), 29.8 percent of this year’s total and 31.9 percent last year have nothing to do with food safety, according to industry advocates. (Imagine if 30% of Kitchen Nightmares episodes were boring. It would kind of be like that.)
“Many of them are non-food related — dimly lit light bulbs, not having the proper documentation to show that a product has no trans fats in it,” Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, told the Post. The most egregious violation: scratched cutting boards. “You’ll see a violation because a cutting board has a few scratches in it versus a deep gouge where bacteria would grow. If you use a cutting board, it’s going to get scratches in it!”
He and other industry advocates claim that it’s an easy moneymaker for the NYC Health Department, who responded by pointing out that their strict standards have ensured cleaner kitchens throughout the city, with closures down 12% and fines down 20%. Then again, this is from the health department that insisted that small sodas were going to solve obesity, so, uh, make of that what you will.
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