The Times reports this morning that restaurant owners are no great fans of a health department website that allows users to search their local restaurants for health violations. Among their many complaints: the website may display an outdated score, it’s far too easy to use and, finally, it allows users to search their local restaurants for health violations.
The new website is tied to the city’s new cleanliness letter grades, and even allows widgets so users on OpenTable and Zagat.com can find out about violations when choosing a restaurant. Restauranteurs say this is too much access, and that former scores from the previous system, where violations were earned more easily, may be construed as a recent infraction.
“That’s a big problem,” Mr. Rigie [of the New York State Restaurant Association] said. A person seeing an old 15-point score on the Web site “would determine that restaurant to be a B-graded restaurant, but there’s a possibility that under the new system it would have an A.”
We last used the site to determine that The Lion had received a “C” grade on its inspection. Funnily enough, the website seems to straining under all the traffic from The Times. Maybe restaurants should publicize the site more often.