Foodservice Equipment Reports

Fines For Not Freezing Fish? New York Debates New Rules (And Fines)

New York City’s health department is holding hearings on a few issues that could affect the E&S industry, and which restaurant operators suspect are simply a way for the city to issue more fines.

One proposal being considered by the Board of Health and Mental Hygiene questions the use of ammonium solution to sanitize kitchen utensils and equipment; another involves the practice of freezing fish. The latter regulation would require restaurants to freeze fish that is served raw or raw-marinated (such as sushi or ceviche) or undercooked to eliminate the risk of parasites. If the fish is purchased frozen, restaurants would be required to get a statement from their supplier attesting to the fact; farm-raised fish and wild-caught tuna would be exempt from the requirement.

The New York State Restaurant Association said this proposal would force operators to make large investments in new freezer equipment.

“This mayor has promised that his agencies will not treat small businesses like ATM machines,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, in a statement. “Well, the health department did not get the message.”

A health-department spokesman called the proposals, first introduced in December, a response to new federal regulations. The health department board will meet in March to take up the issue of whether to adopt them.