NYC Rewards Restaurants with "A" Grades

by Claudia Morell
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Mayor Bloomberg eats
Claudia Morell, WFUV

Mayor Bloomberg enjoys two eggs on toast at Spark's Deli in Queens, the first establishment to receive a letter grade.

A year has passed since New York City’s Health Department began evaluating restaurants with letter grades—and Mayor Bloomberg said it has been great for businesses and patrons.

The Health Department released its one year report on the grading system Monday. The study found restaurants around the city saved $3 million dollars in waved fines after receiving an “A” grade on their first or second inspection.

Health Commissioner Tom Farley said grading restaurants is good for New Yorkers because it brings transparency and provides incentives for food providers to stay up to code.

“Every food establishment in New York City from a corner deli to a five-star restaurant can have the best food safety practices if they train their staff and if they focus on food safety consistently,” said Commissioner Farley.

The report also included a survey by Baruch College, which shows that 90% of all New Yorkers approve of the program to post letter grades on restaurant windows.

The poll also found that the public is widely aware of restaurant grades and uses them in deciding where to eat, with 70 percent of New Yorkers seeing grades at the entrances of restaurants.

So far 90 percent of the city’s 24,000 restaurants have been inspected, with 69 percent getting A's, 15 percent getting B's, 4 percent having C’s, and 12% with “grade pending.”
 

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