BROOKLYN - A dozen local food vendors gathered outside the headquarters of the New York City Department of Health to protest what they call the agency's crackdown on their bathroom breaks.

Nut vendor Mohammed Shirajul Islam says he lost his permit after abandoning his cart on the street due to a bathroom emergency caused by a medical condition.

According to a DOH spokesperson, the agency encourages vendors to go on bathroom breaks of 15-30 minutes, "but they cannot leave the cart unattended for an extended period of time." Health officials say Islam was away from his cart for more than 45 minutes.

The DOH says Islam can reapply for a permit.