Sunday, May 8, 2011

What's In a Grade?

Big article in The New York Press this week about the grades we see on restaurants here in NYC.

In the last year, the Department of Health has been inspecting restaurants and forcing them to post their cleanliness grades in the windows. The best is an A (obviously), followed by a B (borderline) and a C or lower usually results in the restaurant either being shut-down or an appeal (which results in the "grade pending" signs you sometimes see).

Like all great ideas, this one works great in theory. It supposedly incentives restaurants to be as clean as possible and shames those that aren't. It also, obviously, affects business. My wife, for example, refuses to eat in any place with less than an A rating.

But according to this article, this rating system is deeply flawed and doesn't always reflect just how clean any restaurant supposedly is. Perhaps it's impossible to create a perfect rating system, but this article shows that perhaps we shouldn't take these restaurant rating at face -- or window -- value.

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