Whether consumers want to know before they leave the house or when they reach a restaurant, it is much easier than you may think to find out the health inspection grade of New York City restaurants.
All NYC restaurants are required by law to put a sign in front of their restaurants with their inspection grade, be it A, B, or C. A is best, meaning a restaurant received 0-13 points on their inspection. B is 14-27 and C is 28 or more. Inspections occur once a year with a random follow up inspection if the restaurant fails to garner an A from the health department. They have a chance to correct their mistakes and receive a new grade to display publicly. Their first score will not be converted to a grade if it is below an A. Within the month the random follow up occurs and if they score an A they can display that score. However if they have failed to correct the issue they will receive the B or C grade.
Before consumers leave the door to eat, they can go to the NYC Restaurant Inspection page and search by restaurant name or zip code. The site gives the name of the restaurant, contact information, an address and the grade they received.
There are three types of violations listed on the “How We Score and Grade” fact sheet on nyc.gov. Minor violations like not rinsing utensils result in two points. Critical violations result from things like serving uncooked food like produce without washing it, e.g. in a salad and are a minimum of five points each. The most egregious violations are considered public health hazards and are a minimum seven point violation. Anything that endangers the consumer like improper storage temperature can result in the restaurant being closed until it is corrected.
Manhattan restaurants can take comfort knowing that 8,725 of 10,326, or eighty four percent, of restaurants in the borough received an A rating. 608 and 75 restaurants received B or C ratings respectively, leaving 918 who either closed or have their grades pending.
Staten Island received almost the same percent of A ratings, with 779 of their 938 restaurants or eighty three percent. 64 restaurants got B ratings while just eight were given C ratings. The rest were closed or pending.
The Bronx had 2400 restaurants, of which 1949 received A ratings, a slightly lower eighty one percent. 187 had B ratings and just 26 had Cs.
Eighty three percent of Brooklyn’s 6,287 restaurants had A ratings, similar to Staten Island and slightly lower than Manhattan. 354 had B ratings and 71 had C ratings, leaving 643 restaurants closed or pending grades.
Finally, eighty four percent of Queens’ 5,822 restaurants had A ratings. 384 had B and 50 had C, leaving 123 closed or pending grades.
All five boroughs were above 80% and below 85% A rated.
While the health department says they are not on a witch hunt to shut down small mom-and-pop style restaurants, they are using the grading as a tool to force people to comply with basic health regulations. Critics argue the department is targeting small restaurants in an effort to crack down on small business, a charge the department assures is not the case.