In my last blog, I discussed the importance of restaurant grading in improving food safety and reducing food borne illness. While many municipalities and states post grades, the data can be difficult to find. Some of the data is variably housed on a city, county, regional, or state website. The team at Dr. Stueven’s Dining Grades have spent countless hours looking for these very important links. Unfortunately, some states and/or large municipalities apparently believe this to be confidential data and don’t display it. If you are choosing a place to dine in familiar territory, you may have a better idea what the food safety grades are, but if you are traveling and want to find a food safety rating from an unknown municipality site, it can be considerably harder!
A Revolutionary Idea to Post Health Department Inspection Scores
In 1998, Los Angeles County decided to require restauranteurs to post their food safety scores, converted to grades, where the public could easily see the results. There was confusion. There was anger. There was bewilderment. But after nearly twenty years, the effort has shown the public embracing the idea and restauranteurs are increasingly focused on food safety. In the past several years, the public has seen this idea spread to other municipalities. California municipalities, large municipalities like NYC, Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Toronto have embraced the idea of posting grades at the restaurant. Additionally, many entire states like Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana have embraced the idea of openly sharing data and now offer website access to the public, listing scores. Unfortunately, some municipalities and states refuse to share any data.