New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, joined by elected officials, business and community leaders, today kicked off the beginning of Passover preparations by commending City businesses that keep prices fair. Commissioner Mintz also reminded New Yorkers that they can call 311, the City's 24-hour Citizen Service Hotline, or file a complaint on the DCA website at www.nyc.gov/consumers to report unusual price spikes on Kosher-for-Passover items through April 20. The DCA will follow up by doing a complete inspection of the store including checking scales for accuracy, proper pricing, and more.
"New York City kosher retailers are the best place to shop for your family's Seder. I commend the businesses that keep prices fair during Passover, and based on the few complaints we receive, most businesses do the right thing," said Commissioner Mintz. "Consumers who notice any unusual price spikes on Kosher-for-Passover items should call 311 or go to our website. The DCA is prepared to conduct soup-to-nuts inspections of any stores taking advantage of the holiday."
"Passover is one holiday that most middle income families find costly and hard to afford. The Jewish poor and near-poor have a much more difficult time choosing between their dignified religious observance of the holiday and other necessities. Mayor Bloomberg's and his Department of Consumer Affairs' vigilance during this time is deeply appreciated," said Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty Executive Director / CEO William E. Rapfogel.
"Thanks to the efforts of the Department for Consumer Affairs, things have gotten a lot better. It's not necessary to get ripped off when buying items for Passover. You have many choices and my best advice is to shop around," said Councilmember Simcha Felder.
"Prices need to be closely monitored during the Passover holiday to make sure that Kosher consumers are being treated fairly and that there is no unjustified price gauging by store owners," said Councilmember David I. Weprin, Chair of the Council Finance Committee. "There is no excuse for blatant discrimination against Kosher consumers."