New York City officials say initial data shows salmonella infections have decreased by more than 13 percent over the first full year of giving out letter grades for restaurants.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and health officials attributed the decrease to improved food sanitary practices by restaurants working to achieve better grades.
The officials also said Tuesday that the grade system had been good for business — linking it to an increase in restaurant sales.
New York State Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Rigie said the grading system was punitive and a financial burden on small business owners.
Humble delis and star-powered restaurants alike receive grades of A, B or C for sanitary conditions.
The City Council is holding a hearing Wednesday on the system that started in July 2010.