Public comments for: Food Service Establishment Sanitary Inspection Procedures and Letter Grading (Chapter 23) - Fixed penalties

Comments

Comment:
NYC Restaurants beware of this new proposal. Has the health dept. in the last 5,10,15,20 years made any changes that has helped your industry thrive? Fines have been raised excessively over the years. Violations have been given inane point values, with condition levels that make no logical or scientific sense. Letter grades, which the public, politicians and bloggers seem to love, but have no idea how the grades system works, are hurting your industry much more than helping it. So now the dept. is saying they are going to lower your fines?? Really? Why then have they said on record over the years every time there's been a fine increase that the reason is..."higher fines are the incentive to the restaurant industry to obey the law"? So then, by this same logic, wouldn't lowering fines result in more violations?? So, the health dept. is telling you that they are going to be the police (inspector), prosecutor (dept. advocate at your hearings), jury (hearing examiner) and...forget the judge, there won't be a need under this new proposal. The fine will be whatever the health dept. says it is. Forget about explaining "your side of the story". Forget about mitigation. All that goes out the window. Does that sound like a "fair and impartial hearing" to you? Don't you think your restaurant is a bit more complicated than a push cart vendor? They're telling you "it's how we deal with mobile vendors, so therefore, it's how we're going to deal with your restaurant". If you think tying the hands of the judge deciding your case is a good idea, my suggestion to you is...be careful of what you wish for. This proposal, by the way, is already in effect and has been for years with certain violations. An expired permit is now a codified minimum fine of $1000.00. If you are cited for this violation and sit before a judge, most often you'll hear the judge apologize for not having any discretion for this violation. Do you remember when you could explain that every year you've been faithfully renewing your permit, but for some reason this year you were not mailed a renewal notice and it slipped your mind? Most likely, the judge would have then checked to see that yes, you have been on time every year, and, let's face it, there are many permits and licenses in NYC that all expire at different times of the year. After taking all this into consideration, you'd probably have been given a $200 fine. But, that was then, before this violation was codified. Well, now envision this same practice for all your violations. Still think this is a good proposal?
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
Guo's Garden totally supports this proposed regulation. I believe this reduction will lift the burden of many small restaurant owners and will be beneficial to them. My suggestion is to try to reduce the fines imposed on restaurant by 50% or as much as possible and to focus on actual health violations instead of minor unrelated mistakes. This way, owners don't have to pay as much money and avoid being bankrupted. If the Health Dept. can follow all these suggestions, many restaurants will be grateful and earn more money.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
As it relates to education, the food industry is comprised of people of many different languages and cultures and require consultations to be provided in their own language.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
We at M Wells Dinette fully support this proposed rule if it successfully establishes standard fines to food safety violations, as well as reducing those same fines imposed on restaurants. This would mean great things for small businesses owners across the city who are crippled by excessive fines resulting from minor violations. Leniency and transparency with respect to this process would be warranted. TT
Agency: DOHMH