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[Photograph: Turbulentflow on Flickr]

An alarming piece of reader mail today from an undisclosed Manhattan pizzeria should send shivers down the spines of any slice-loving New Yorker. If this is not just a single instance of overzealous enforcement by the NYC Department of Health, the following could have serious ramifications for the majority of pizzerias in the Big Apple:

I am having a huge problem. I run a pizzeria, and we have gotten a warning from the Board of Health saying that pizza is not allowed to be used off of the slice display.

This, of course, has to do with the fact that the cheese cannot be left between 40°F and 140°F and then reheated. No matter how hot the oven is, it is still a violation according to the Board of Health.

My question is, how do i comply with their regulations and still produce a quality product?

How do I comply and still serve people in a reasonable amount of time?

Could you please post this or start a forum to discuss it?

I am extremely frustrated and I don't know how to handle this logistically.

Thank you very much,
[Name and location redacted]

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Holy. Crap.

At first I thought this was from someone outside of NYC—say, Kansas City—since the writer uses the term Board of Health rather than Dept. of Health or DOH. In that case, this would have been alarming enough but somewhat expected, since other cities do not have quite the slice culture NYC does.

But the writer did indeed confirm he's in Manhattan. "I don't care what they're called," he said about the DOH. "I hate them."

If this is part of a new systematic crackdown on slice pies, we hate them, too.

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