Letter Grades Will Keep Us From Poisoning Ourselves at Unsafe Restaurants

grade card a v2 medium image Letter Grades Will Keep Us From Poisoning Ourselves at Unsafe RestaurantsBecause we are always up for a little mid-afternoon hypochondria, we were pleased to read about food poisoning courtesy of WNYC.

For example: “When Myra Ruiz started to feel ill, she knew it was serious because the whites of her eyes had turned yellow.” And: “Jessee quickly decided to walk out of Forrest Gump, though he was enjoying the film.”

But there is a solution, maybe!

Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City’s Commissioner of Public Health, believes about 10,000 New Yorkers visit the hospital every year because of food-related illnesses originating in the city’s restaurants. That figure, however, reflects only a fraction of the total number of people who get food poisoning.

In an effort to reduce those illnesses, New York City has decided to follow the lead of Los Angeles County, which requires restaurants to prominently display letter grades based on their health inspections.

A 2003 study by two economists found that after letter grades were introduced in Los Angeles, there was a 20 percent decline in hospital admissions for food-borne illness.

This is way more interesting to worry about than an itchy Victoria’s Secret.