Despite the occasional outlier, the city's restaurants are scoring high grades with the Department of Health. The Daily News reports that closures by city health inspectors have been on the decline, with only 1,388 restaurants shut down this fiscal year, down from 1,646 last year. Additionally, "about half of all restaurants now earn an A grade on their initial inspections and receive no fines or inspections for a year,” says Health Department spokeswoman Jean Weinberg.
According to the Department of Health website, 68 restaurants are currently shuttered by the agency, some dating back to March of 2011. On the other end of the scale, 18,601 restaurants currently have an "A" grade.
Bad grades mean big profits for the city, so with the number of fines decreasing, so is the revenue generated by dirty restaurants. The city saw a 20% decrease in fines collected this year, from $38.1 million last year to just $30.3 million from July 2012 through March 30th of this year. That trend will likely continue as restaurants get more hip to the demands of the health department to avoid costly fines for a variety of infractions. Whatever works, right?