Thursday, March 18, 2010
Following in the footsteps of Los Angeles and several other major cities, New York will begin requiring restaurants to visibly display their most recent inspection scores for the dining public. Despite some industry opposition claiming that the grades are misleading or will scare consumers unnecessarily, this is an unequivocally good thing.
The posting requirement gives consumers a powerful tool, and gives restaurateurs a powerful incentive to clean up their kitchens. The effectiveness of the measure is evident in Los Angeles, where foodborne illness hospitalizations declined 13% when it took effect.
Other than being good news for New York diners, this bodes well for consumers everywhere. Where NYC leads, other cities and even state and federal authorities often follow. Here's hoping that other cities follow suit. Here in DC, my understanding is that you still have to file a FOIA request to find out whether your favorite pizza place has a rodent problem.
The official Press Release, a very useful FAQ document, and New York Times coverage.