Health Department Announces Rules for Restaurant Grades

New York’s restaurants are going to be schooled. Or, graded, at least.

The Health Department announced the final rules for the city’s restaurant grading system Tuesday meaning that, come July, your favorite dive bar may be stuck with an 8-by-10-inch sign proclaiming its “C” health grade. Most restaurants are expected to receive Bs in the first year.

The city’s Board of Health voted in March that restaurants should post grades, based on how many points they receive in inspections – making some of the city’s restaurateurs upset and eliciting inevitable Nathaniel Hawthorne references.

But Grub Street suggests that in some ways the new rules are more lenient. For instance, inspectors now have to see live cockroaches scuttling along instead of simply “evidence of roaches.” We sort of think “evidence of roaches” should probably still count for something, but whatever.

It’s too early to say if the grades will affect New Yorkers’ eating and drinking habbits. Five years after the grades were implemented in Los Angeles, a 2002 survey showed that only 25 percent of respondants were comfortable eating in a B-grade restaurant.

You can check violation points online already. The Health Department’s fact sheet says the grades are so “customers can make informed choices about where to eat out.” Eh, ignorance is bliss right?

Health Department Announces Rules for Restaurant Grades