Health Department Begins Giving Restaurants Letter Grades - NBC New York

Health Department Begins Giving Restaurants Letter Grades



    How to Choose Your Organization for Giving Tuesday
    Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, center, displays the health department's first "A" grade award for sanitary conditions given to cousins Jose Araujo, left, and Tony Araujo, right, owners of Spark's Deli in Long Island City.

    Alphabet soup is now on the menu.

    Diners will now be able to gauge the cleanliness of any given restaurant without even stepping through the door -- because a letter grade will be hanging in the window.

    On Wednesday, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that inspectors will now start grading eateries on safety and sanitary conditions, and customers will be able to access that information with the click of a mouse on

    The New York Restaurant Association, however, is not in favor of the new set-up, saying that it's going to drive away customers. For example a restaurant that go a "C" in April, might have improved operations that don't warrant a "C" in August.

    Restaurants with A grades will be inspected annually, but those with lower marks will get more frequent visits, officials said.

    But while the Department of Health will give failing establishments a chance to be re-inspected weeks later, many New Yorkers are not sure what to make of the scores, anyway -- watch the video above.