NY City Bill To Require Food Inspectors To Use Video

In today's day and age with technological advances coming so fast, it's kind of hard to believe that the idea of giving food inspectors in New York City restaurants the ability to use video is just now being proposed as a solution is a little alarming, honestly. But that's exactly what happened last week when a new York City Councilman proposed a bill that would require food service health inspectors to wear a camera during an inspection shows how far the tide is turning in favor of the restaurant industry.

According to an article at crainsnewyork.com, Councilman Vincent Ignizio, R-SI, has drafted a bill calling for a one-year pilot program requiring 10% of inspections to include video footage that could be used as evidence in a dispute over potential violations.

The proposal comes on the heels of new rules that the City Council and New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, which is responsible for the restaurant inspections, proposed last month that would reduce the health inspection fines restaurants pay by 25 percent.

Mr. Ignizio's bill hopes to level the playing field for restaurateurs, who have long been frustrated with the current system which gives them very little power to challenge a health inspection report.

According to the article , the two major trade groups representing restaurants and bars — the New York City Hospitality Alliance and the city chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association — had not advocated for the bill.

The restaurant association "is aware of and reviewing this legislation," said James Versocki, counsel to the city chapter. Andrew Rigie, executive director of the Alliance, said "Our focus has been a complete overhaul of the letter grade system, not inspector cameras, although it is an interesting idea."

The bill has provided Google with some extra publicity, because many of the New York media channels are speculating that this new bill would be a perfect application for the new Google Glass technology. 

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