City health officials in New York are now handing out grades of A, B or C to all the restaurants in the city. Each restaurant must display the placard with their grade or receive a $1,000 fine. The grades are based on compliance in food handling, food temperature, personal hygiene and vermin control, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
As you can imagine, the New York State Restaurant Association is fighting these grades, as reported by the New York Times. But from what I’ve learned from local restaurant owners and other employees over the past few years, these grades are necessary because of how bad some kitchens are kept. It’s a surprise more customers don’t get ill from eating out so often.
Even sports stadiums need these grades. ESPN.com just released a report detailing violations at all major pro sports stadiums across the country, including the Packers, Bucks and Brewers (all of which are doing okay). Seven stadiums/arenas in Florida and one in Washington, D.C., were the worst violators (don’t eat there unless you like mouse droppings).
I tried to find the health code reports for Madison restaurants and the Kohl Center, but I couldn’t find it on the City of Madison site. I’d be interested to see what restaurants have failed recent inspections. I’m also curious as to see how long it takes before other cities start handing out grades. New York was, after all, one of the first cities to go smoke-free, then others followed suit.