If a restaurant didn’t make the grade, would you eat there?

By Alex Eriksen, Olivia Damavandi, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, and Sana Gulzar

When you were a kid, did you ever try to hide a bad grade in school from your parents? Get caught? It’s likely then you can relate to some restaurant owners in the Bronx.

It’s restaurant week throughout New York City, – a week that oddly lasts a whole month – and the rating system cooked up by State Senator Jeff Klein and implemented by the city’s health department is making its debut to many patrons. These evaluations have been going on in Manhattan for some time and only recently are health inspectors tackling the Bronx.

Click to read some testimonials from around the Bronx

Restaurants will get an A, B, or C, based on how many violations of the health code appear on an unannounced inspection. State Law requires them to display their grade in the window or face penalties.

Klein has been trying to get restaurants to clean up their act for the last decade. In 2009 he released a study titled “Restaurants That Are Enough to Make You Sick: An Analysis of Unsanitary Conditions At New York City Restaurants”. In 26 pages, Klein makes the case for a new rating system, one that would jolt both the city and its restaurateurs into action. California rates their eateries with a similar scale, and Klein thought it would be the perfect way to shape up the noncompliant.

Seven months ago, Klein brought his plan to the state senate. It passed. The city plans to have all restaurants rated in over a year. There are some eateries not up for grades however. Food stands, temporary food service, hospital-operated cafeterias, correctional facilities, soup kitchens, or school lunchrooms will not be rated. Mayor Michael Bloomberg supports the new rating system.The Bronx Ink set out to find out what Bronxites think of the new system. Click on the photo to see what we found.

To find out the health inspection results of restaurants in your area, check out this site at the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

One Response to “If a restaurant didn’t make the grade, would you eat there?”


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