If, like me, you did not know what the ABC grades that NYC restaurants must displayed are, I hope this post will help you understand. The ABC grades started in July 2010 at the initiative of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (inspired by the experiment in Los Angeles). It is a way for consumers to make a conscious choice when eating in a restaurant and force restaurant owners to maintain a certain standard. By restaurant, the Health Department, means fixed location restaurants (excluding mobile food vending units), coffee shops, night clubs for instance. Restaurants in Hospitals, primary or secondary schools, correctional facilities are for example not concerned by the program.
Grades are the results of inspections: each violation is given a number of sanitary points. The lesser, the better!
- A - 0 to 13 points (next inspection: after a year).
- B - 14 to 27 (next inspection: 5 to 7 months after re-inspection).
- C - 28 or more (next inspection: every 30 days until the restaurant improves his grade or is closed. Then, 3 to 5 months after the cycle of inspections ends).
If a restaurant gets a B or C, the restaurant owner has the opportunity to defend himself before the Health Department's Administrative Tribunal. Until then, he can chose to show the given grade or to display a "grade pending" card.
To search for the number of violation points of a restaurant, click here. Note that all restaurants should be graded by the Fall of 2011.
I don't know about you, but personally, I will only go where I see an "A" at the window!