Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation requiring the New York City Department of Education to publicly post the result of school cafeteria and kitchen inspections online.
"Parents deserve to be sure that the food their children eat at school is prepared safety and in a sanitary kitchen," Governor Cuomo said. "This common sense measure provides transparency and, hopefully, peace of mind and I'm proud to sign it."
This bill (S.4173-A/A.7684) amends the Administrative Code of New York City by adding a new section that requires that whenever a city district school cafeteria or kitchen is inspected, the results of the inspection must be posted on the New York City Department of Education's website. The posting must be searchable by school and include the nature of any violations, citations to the applicable law, and any corrective measures taken. Additionally, the principal of each school must notify parents once a year regarding the availability of this information on the district's website.
Senator Jeff Klein said, "Our children eat their meals in school cafeterias, but unlike restaurants, parents had no way of knowing how these facilities fared in terms of health code inspections. Investigations conducted by my office found conditions like rat and mouse droppings, flies, and other insects in addition to lesser violations like food storage temperatures and handwashing. But these were never before public, and my legislation brings transparency to the system by giving parents online access to violation information. I thank Gov. Cuomo for signing this into law and giving parents access to crucial information."
Assemblymember Catherine Nolan said "Thank you to Governor Cuomo and Speaker Heastie for supporting this legislation to help keep parents informed of their children's school cafeteria. As a parent of a recent public school graduate, I know how important it is to parents to be informed."
Currently, under the National School Lunch Act, schools are required to undergo a food safety inspection by the state or local health department at least twice each school year, post the results in a publicly visible location and provide the results to the public upon request. However, prior to this bill being signed into law, there was no requirement to make the results of these inspections generally publicly available online.
This law will go into effect 90 days from today.