69 Percent of NYC Restaurants Earn A-Grade

Monday, Aug 1, 2011  |  Updated 3:43 PM EDT
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69 Percent of NYC Restaurants Earn A-Grade

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A year after the city began grading restaurants for safety and cleanliness, 69 percent of citywide eateries have earned an A, but the rest are still posting grades of B or lower.

Fifteen percent of restaurants have been graded in the B range, while 4 percent have a C, and 12 percent are posting a grade pending sign, according to the Health Department.

A pending grade indicates a final grade has not yet been determined by a Health Tribunal judge that reviews appeals.

The grades are meant to help guide customers in their dining choices, and more significantly, prompt restaurants to maintain rigorous food safety practices, said the Health Department.

There's an incentive to keeping the businesses clean: restaurants that earn an A grade are exempt from paying fines for smaller violations. So far, 8,000 A-grade restaurants have saved about $3 million as a result of waived fines, Mayor Bloomberg said at a news conference Monday.

A survey released Monday by Baruch College showed 90 percent of New Yorkers approve of the grade-posting practice, and that 65 percent used the window grades to inform their dining choices all or most of the time.

Nearly 90 percent of the city's 24,000 restaurants have been inspected in the year since the grading program was implemented. A-grade restaurants are inspected about a year after its first inspection cycle; B-restaurants every six months; and C-restaurants every four months. 

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