In a move toward greater transparency, the New York City Board of Health has decided that all restaurants in the five boroughs will now be required to post large letter grades reflecting the results of their most recent health inspection.
Currently, the Health Dept. assigns numerical scores, based on the number and severity of violations found, to each of the 24,000 restaurants it inspects every year. While it will continue to use that system for official use, the signs posted outside of each eatery will reflect that score’s corresponding letter grade.
According to the Health Dept., if a restaurant receives an “A,” they’ll get the certificate immediately. If the inspection turns up a grade below “A,” restaurants have one month to get themselves up to “A” status before being obligated to post the lower grade. If the restaurant owner contests their sub-A grade, they can post “grade pending” signs until pleading their case before the Health Department’s Administrative Tribunal.
“Letter grades will make the inspection process more transparent, giving every potential customer instant access to important information,” reads a statement from the Dept. of Health. “At the same time, the risk-based inspection schedules will focus City resources on restaurants that warrant the most scrutiny.”
The Health Department plans to enact the new system in July.