The “Oh Crap” Heard Round the World…

Some breaking news in the restaurant biz from the Board of Health:

The Board of Health is currently soliciting public comments on a proposal to publicly grade New York City restaurants on their sanitary conditions. Under a new proposed system, restaurants would receive grades of A, B or C, depending on the conditions documented during inspections. Each establishment would have to post its most recent grade in full view of potential customers – and those receiving Bs and Cs would be inspected more often than those meeting the highest standards for food safety. The new system would concentrate City resources on the least sanitary restaurants while placing no additional burden on establishments that maintain the best conditions.

Yikes. I mean, I'm all for health and cleanliness, but isn't this taking it a little too far? I know LA has had this implemented for years (they would), but part of the charm of NYC is going to a total dump and having a great meal. And do we think that those places are always SUPER clean?? Um, no, usually not. But we choose not to think about it. I don't know, I have mixed feelings about this; while it may encourage restaurant owners to clean up their act a bit, it could also severely damage the reputation of a perfectly good restaurant. The grades can change from week to week, depending on the times of inspection, so how accurate will it really be? Would you go into a restaurant with a C grade posted right smack in the middle of the window?? Probably not. Would you go into it now that it has no grade? Probably. But that's what our grand city is all about: ignorance for the sake of experience. And they're taking that away from us!

Starting Tuesday, you will be seeing more and more letter grades in the windows of NYC's 24,000 restaurants, and if you're wondering, food carts won't be graded as part of this system. Sure, that makes sense. There's literally video footage of a rat crawling around a food cart, but that's no big deal, I'm more worried about the platinum spoon that fell off it's hook at Del Posto and the chef who forgot to floss at Blue Ribbon.


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