Unsafe and unsanitary conditions found in six Jersey City food trucks in Exchange Place
Restaurant inspectors monitor food handling, temperature and other safety protocols when they visit a restaurant. Wochit, Wochit
Last Thursday, five Jersey City food trucks operating in Exchange Place were towed for outstanding parking tickets and one was impounded for failure to have vehicle registration, auto insurance and a valid license plate. All were found to be flouting numerous health regulations.
Jake Hudnut, the Jersey City municipal prosecutor and head of the city’s Quality of Life Task Force, said that all the vehicles were found to have excess grease and food littered on preparation surfaces and the floor. Some workers were also not wearing proper hair restraints.
The five trucks towed were: Hallal Guys of Rutherford, AJL Ice Cream Corp. of Newark, Gigi Halal Food of Bayonne, Sahara Grill and Pita of Jersey City and Dosa Spot of Jersey City. The impounded truck is Zeze Cool of Jersey City.
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Besides the health code violations, the trucks were parked in a no-parking zone, were parked within 100 feet to each other, which is not allowed under local ordinance, and were eschewing sanitation ordinances that require trash cans to be within 10 feet of the service window. Two of the trucks were unsafely storing propane tanks and one had its gasoline containers stocked next to its propane tank.
The unpaid parking tickets ranged from $280 to $4,752.
“A lot of food truck vendors consider the cost of a parking ticket to be the cost of doing business,” said Hudnut. “What we want to remind them is that there’s a penalty for not following the rules. If our every-day, hard-working citizens have to pay their parking tickets, so should commercial vendors.”
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Hudnut said that it’s common for food trucks in Jersey City to park in fire lanes, double park, and settle in no-park zones. In order to be in accordance with the law, these trucks must be properly licensed by the Jersey City health department, have proof that they have necessary commercial insurance documentation and follow basic parking regulations, according to Hudnut.
All of the five towed food trucks have paid their outstanding tickets and the sixth that was impounded is still in the hands of the city.