New York City (NYC) Health Inspection Violation Attorney

NYC restaurant law attorney representing food service business owners defending claims of inspection violations.

There are hundreds of regulations that New York City restaurant owners have to comply with.  These Health Department regulations apply to a variety of different types of food service facilities including brick and mortar businesses, food trucks, vending machines, food carts, stadiums, and more. 

It is vital to know the city health departments entire health code and regulations.  If you are not sure of them, they can be found posted on their websites.  Frequent concerns of theirs are:

  • Sources of food
  • Prevention of hazards
  • The sanitary preparation of food
  • Trans fat
  • Food storage and temperature regulation
  • Hygienic standards
  • Lighting and ventilation
  • Plumbing and the provision of sinks for hand washing
  • Employee and patron rest rooms
  • Pest management
  • Live animals
  • Waste disposal
  • Dishwashing
  • Outdoor food operations

Any failure for a food service business to adhere to these regulations will result in:

  • Lack of permission to open a new business
  • The forced closing of a business
  • Fines
  • The listing of instances of noncompliance on the popular Restaurant Inspections website of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (with apps now available for iPhones and iPads)
  • A posted letter grade of B or C in New York City (an A denotes a top score)

It is important to remember that the whole reason for existence of the health departments and their regulations is to advocate the benefits of healthy practices throughout the 24,000 restaurants of New York City.  Although these regulations, along with the new form of grading system, may cause you aggravation, the health codes put in place will ultimately help the reputation, and success of your NYC restaurant business.  Any individual with an interest in opening a new restaurant, or need to follow the Health Department regulations for an existing food service business, should be aware of their main concerns: 

  • Opening a new business: following the permit process properly, following departments’ guidelines regarding the designing of a food service facility and following guidelines which involve surface finishes, plumbing, equipment and almost all aspects of a building’s physical space
  • Operating a business: food safety, the posting of calorie counts, and public signage
  • Training: most health departments provide online and classroom tutorials regarding safety, the reduction of food-borne illnesses, and certification in proper food protection and preparation
  • Inspections. In New York City, every restaurant is scheduled for an unannounced inspection annually. City and state health department websites provide information regarding what to expect, self-inspection/prep tips and violation settlements
  • The posting of letter grades (A through C).Since July of 2010, restaurants in New York City have been required to post the “grade” of their sanitary inspections accurately and in a prominent place. Information regarding New York City letter grades can be found here.


The Department of Health has long been a thorn in the side of restaurant owners and even more so since their introduction of the Letter Grading system.  Even though observing and following the health department regulations can seem like a hindrance to your mission of running a successful food service, it is actually a crucial part of running your business.  Maintaining, and staying on top of these regulations, requires constant awareness to earn the scores and grades that the people of New York City have now grown to know to look for.  They now use these grades as a guide to seek out healthier restaurants.  Compliance with the Department of Health will also contribute to the smooth running of your food service business without disruptions, fines, or temporary closures caused by health code violations.

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