According to new data from the Department of Health, about 80% of the 250 restaurants that underwent the city's new sanitary inspections (which require grades to be posted for all customers to see) have passed, with 49% getting A grades and 31% getting B grades. Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner, said in a statement, “Most restaurants maintain good sanitary conditions, and the City's new letter-grading system is giving them tools and incentives to do better...Overall, we consider these initial numbers very encouraging."
Of the 250 restaurants, 67 received A grades on their first inspection, and another 54 received them on their reinspection. And while that sounds great, Robert Bookman, legislative counsel for the New York City chapters of the New York State Restaurant Association, thinks the preliminary numbers are worse than he'd hoped. He told Diner's Journal, “The real headline here is that the mayor and the health commissioner will not eat in a majority of the restaurants in New York City."
Though 1,825 food establishments have received their initial inspections, 1,575 have not yet completed the second stage of the process, and won't have grades posted until they do. Bookman said, “Unless a huge number of the 1,575 restaurants get A grades on their reinspection, it’s a disaster for the health department’s new grading system. If a majority of the city’s restaurants aren’t getting A’s, then the city’s new grading is meaningless. It will show that the problem will not be with city restaurants, but with the health department’s scoring system. And how will that be for tourism?" Tourists, and locals, can check their favorite restaurants right on the DOH website. And for those who may find their selection doesn't have the best bill of cleanliness, there's always Spark's Deli.