New York City Passes Restaurant Grading

Statement of CSPI Food Safety Attorney Sarah Klein


Congratulations to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for enacting restaurant food-safety grading. Beginning in July, consumers will finally be able to see how a restaurant fared on its most recent health inspection, simply by glancing at the letter grade in the front window or vestibule. Foodborne illness sickens 76 million Americans each year, and 40 percent of those illnesses are linked to restaurant food. With a greater emphasis on food safety in restaurant kitchens, we hope to see a lot fewer sick consumers in the New York City.

Los Angeles has been doing restaurant grading for over 10 years with great results—including a documented 20 percent decrease in hospitalizations due to foodborne illness. With cities on both coasts now providing this import food safety information to consumers, the only question remaining is: Why aren’t all cities doing restaurant grading?